Nogales, Ariz., has been awarded membership in Union Pacific's Train Town USA Registry as part of the railroad's year-long 150th anniversary celebration. The city received an official Train Town USA resolution signed by Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young today in a special presentation that took place as Nogales celebrated 130 years since the "meeting of the rails" in Nogales, uniting the U.S. and Mexico in the region.
"We are proud to recognize Nogales as we commemorate our railroad's sesquicentennial celebration and growing up together," said Zoe Richmond, Union Pacific Director - Public Affairs. "The bond between our railroad and early settlements continues to strengthen and grow. Today, Union Pacific serves nearly 7,300 communities where we live, where our children grow up together and where we recruit our employees.
"Our shared heritage with Nogales is a source of pride as we remember our past while serving and connecting our nation for years to come."
In 1880, San Francisco merchant Jacob Issacson built a trading post in Nogales pass. The Santa Rita Hotel opened nearby a few years later. Within days of the hotel opening, October 25, 1882, the young daughter of surveyor Morley drove the last spike linking Guaymas with the Southern Pacific Railroad at Benson. It was the first rail line linking the U.S. and Mexico. A post office was established in the Issacson store for the community of Issacson, sometimes also called Line City, right on the border. But when the railroad built its depot there it chose to name the stop Nogales. The city of Nogales continues to be a crucial rail crossing on the border of Arizona and Mexico today.