The discovery of gold at Coloma in 1848 and silver in Virginia City in 1859 drew early settlers, with the first white settlement in the Truckee basin recorded on April 20, 1866. The settlement was known as Pollard’s Station and grew into a small township surrounding a hotel at the west end of Donner Lake.
Pollard’s hotel burned to the ground on April 23, 1867, and although it was later rebuilt, the new hotel also succumbed to a fire.
Around this time, the early beginning’s of Truckee starting to take shape. By 1863, Joseph Gray constructed a log station along the Dutch Flat-Donner Lake Wagon Road at the intersection of today’s Jibboom and Bridge streets where he provided provisions to freight wagons. Gray, along with George Schaffer, also built a bridge across the Truckee River and charged a fee to cross. In 1865, S.S. Coburn operated a stage station and public house in today’s Brickelltown.
When the Central Pacific Railroad began their ascent into the Sierra Foothills, Coburn’s Station was selected as the advance camp for the railroad construction crews and overnight the settlement grew into a bustling lumber town.
Learn more from the Truckee-Donner Historical Society