Valley Springs Railroad Depot

Spanning more than 100 years of railroading, the Valley Springs railroad depot is the last along the line of the original San Joaquin & Sierra Nevada Railroad still standing.

Frederick Birdsall, who became rich mining silver in Nevada’s Comstock Lode and helped found the Sacramento Bank, became the principal investor in the San Joaquin & Sierra Nevada Railroad (incorporated March 28, 1882), a narrow gauge that would bypass Stockton and connect via steamer directly with San Francisco.
The first rail was laid at Brack’s Landing on the Mokelumne River near Woodbridge in April; by June the tracks reached Lodi and by October entered Calaveras County at Wallace. The railway was extended in September 1884 to Burson. Next stop was land Birdsall purchased for $50 per acre plus the railroad right-of-way for $1.