800 N Street
The building of the Transcontinental Railroad in the late 1860s was a transformational event in the history of the United States. An important part of the story begins in Old Town Sacramento with the formation of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1861, with Leland Stanford as its first president. Leland Stanford lobbied tirelessly for funding to complete the railroad project and, with his wife Jane Stanford, hosted many events at their Sacramento home to boost political and investment support for the project. The Transcontinental Railroad was the source of the great private fortune that comprised the Founding Grant. Leland and Jane Stanford built the Stanford campus and endowed its operations with the profits from the vast transportation empire they controlled.
Jane Stanford gifted her Sacramento home (and $75,000 in railroad bonds) to an orphanage operated by the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento from 1900 to 1978. The Leland Stanford Mansion became a California historic state park in 1978. It underwent major restoration in partnership with The Leland Stanford Mansion Foundation.
At this commemorative event, Pulitzer Prize winning historian Professor David Kennedy will address the impact of the railroad on the development of the American West. State legislators will deliver proclamations honoring the anniversary. Materials and newly released books by the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project will be on display. A reception will follow.
Organized by the Stanford Historical Society and the Sacramento Stanford Association, this event is hosted by The Leland Stanford Mansion Foundation and co-sponsored by The Bill Lane Center for the American West.