Gold Rush Days
The first settlement in the Dixon area was founded in 1852 by Elijah S. Silvey, whose search for gold landed him in these parts during the California gold rush. Silvey realized an easier way to make his fortune than digging and panning was to open an inn and saloon. This half-way house was located along a well-traveled stage coach route to the gold fields of Sacramento, which became famous among area miners. By 1865, the community of Silveyville boasted a general store, post office, blacksmith, and had a population of 150 people.
Town Moves to Railroad tracks
The Vaca Valley Railroad was about to inaugurate its new line in Solano County in 1870. However, the residents of Silveyville were not happy when they found out that the tracks would not cross into their town. The tracks did cross the land of Thomas Dickson. In order to grow, the residents of Silveyville would have to move closer to the tracks. With Dickson in charge of the relocation, pioneers started what is now known as the Downtown Dixon area.
Peter Timm, a cabinetmaker who had recently arrived from Schleswig-Holstein, Denmark, moved the buildings on large flat cars with wooden rollers, like telephone poles, to the railroad tracks. Peter Timm was the great-grandfather of Dr. Peter Timm, who serves today as a local Dixon veterinarian. One of the first buildings that still stands in Dixon from the 1871 move is the Dixon Methodist Church located at:
209 North Jefferson Street
Dixon, CA 95620
Dixon Was to Be Dicksonville
The California Pacific Railroad tracks were almost finished and a train station was needed. At this time Dickson donated 10 acres of his land for the depot and a city to be named after himself - Dicksonville. The first rail shipment of merchandise arrived in 1872 mistakenly addressed to “Dixon” and that spelling stuck. In 1874, after nearly a 2-year push to have the town named Dicksonville, needless to say, the county recorder filed with the name Dixon on the new maps, stating it was simpler.
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