Downtown Roseville, Way Back When

in Information, Businesses, & Events

Looking down Vernon Street, circa 1940s
Photo Credit: Roseville Historical Society 

Walking through Downtown Roseville on your way to drinks with friends or dinner with the family, you might not be aware of the many bits of history that are peppered throughout the downtown area. But take a closer look, and you’ll see that, intertwined with the new buildings, businesses, and parks, Downtown Roseville is steeped in the vibrant history of the city of Roseville that remains very much a part of the community to this day. 

From the historic Rube Nelson Ice House Bridge to a 70-ton steam engine (one of only two of its kind still in existence), here are just a few places to go in Downtown Roseville to get a glimpse into the city’s past!


RUBE-NELSON ICE HOUSE BRIDGE


Photo credit: Roseville Historical Society

Now a cornerstone of the Downtown Bridges & Trail Project, the Rube Nelson Ice House Bridge was once located above Roseville's Southern Pacific Railroad yard, used by employees of Pacific Fruit Express who commuted over the footbridge to the world's largest artificial ice plant, built in 1909. The giant plant was destroyed in 1974, and it wasn’t until 1986 that the local landmark was relocated to Dry Creek for use as a public footbridge, existing as a memorial to the days when Roseville was the ice capital of the world.


THE WEST HOUSE BUILDING


Photo credit: Roseville Historical Society

Built in the year 1907, the West House was used as a restaurant, bar, and hotel. The Frediani family took over management of and began renting the building in 1918, going on to purchase it in 1946. The same family has continued operating the West House ever since, and today, more than 100 years after it was built, you can stop in to watch the game or enjoy one of their daily Happy Hour specials.



STEAM ENGINE NO. 2252 MONUMENT 


Photo credit: Roseville Historical Society

Located along Atlantic Street where Vernon Street begins, marking the Eastern entry to Downtown Roseville, lives Steam Engine No. 2252. This 70-ton Steam Engine is one of two remaining out of 38 built in 1897. The T-1 Class locomotive was initially used for freight service over Donner Pass until 1929 when it began a nearly 30-year period of fighting snow shed and brush and forest fires in the Sierra Nevadas along Donner Pass until being retired in 1956.



WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL


Photo credit: Roseville Historical Society

Between Consolidated Communications and the Roseville Telephone Museum resides a monument dedicated to the sons and daughters of Roseville who served in the Armed Forces in World War II. What you may not know is that more than 1,200 Roseville citizens participated in the war – one of the highest participation rates of all U.S. cities. Do you know someone whose name is on the monument?



ROSEVILLE TELEPHONE MUSEUM



Photo credit: Consolidated Communications

At 106 Vernon Street in Downtown Roseville, you can find the Roseville Telephone Museum, home to one of the most extensive collections of antique telephones and memorabilia in the country. The historic exhibits chronicle and celebrate more than a century of communications technology in the city of Roseville as well as nationally and internationally. Open the first Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., admission to the Roseville Telephone Museum is free!

More walking around Downtown Roseville might lead you to discover other glimpses into the history of our downtown, like the Tower Barber Shop or Bill Smith Photo - both of which have been in business for the better part of a century, or the placard on the Railroad Hobbies building that lists all of the businesses that have occupied the space since 1907, when it served as the site of Roseville’s first auto garage. 

Interested in exploring more of the area’s history? Check out the Roseville Historical Society or plan a trip to the Carnegie Museum!


Food truck mania
(Please See Update) Food Truck Mania
Jul 09, 2020
5:00 PM PST
311 Vernon St
Roseville, CA 95678
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Food truck mania
(Please See Update) Food Truck Mania
Aug 13, 2020
5:00 PM PST
311 Vernon St
Roseville, CA 95678
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Food truck mania
(Please See Update) Food Truck Mania
Sep 10, 2020
5:00 PM PST
311 Vernon St
Roseville, CA 95678
Read More 
Food truck mania
(Please See Update) Food Truck Mania
Oct 08, 2020
5:00 PM PST
311 Vernon St
Roseville, CA 95678
Read More