In 1884, the Northern Pacific Railroad extended its new line up the length of the Yakima Valley. The coming of the railroad signaled prosperity, but railroad officials bypassed the only existing community, present-day Union Gap, and sited a depot four miles north in the open sagebrush. Owners of existing businesses, hoping to participate in the economic boom, loaded their buildings onto rollers and hauled them to the new town site. By the early 1900s, with the combination of large irrigation projects and rail access, Yakima’s population tripled.

Railroad spikes donated by the Burlington Northern Railroad.