Before Tracy was established, there was Ellis
Before Tracy was established, there is a coaling station at the foot of the Altamont called Ellis. It was located three miles west of the current Tracy Bowtie. Established in 1869, Ellis was on the Western Pacific Railroad line, which was a branch of the Central Pacific Railroad, running from Sacramento to Oakland. Coal from the mines in Corral Hollow and agricultural products from the surrounding farms and ranches were shipped by rail from Ellis Station to the Bay Area and Stockton.
When the nation was celebrating its centennial in 1876, Ellis was a thriving village with 45 to 50 buildings, most north of the tracks, and a population of 200.
December 6, 1878 marked the official end of Ellis. On that date, Central Pacific Railroad transferred all railroad operations to the new town of Tracy, established three miles to the northeast at the Bowtie. By 1880 most of the homes and businesses in Ellis had been moved to Tracy and Ellis passed into history.
The historic Ellis town site was located in what is now west Tracy along the old Schulte Road between Corral Hollow and Lammers Road north of the railroad tracks.
On September 12, 2015 the West Side Pioneer Association Historic Landmark Committee dedicated a historic marker designating the location of the historic town site of Ellis in Joan Sparks Park. While the park is in a newer Madison Park subdivision it is actually very near the location of the northern most buildings in the historic Ellis town site.
Visit the historic marker in Joan Sparks Park at the corner of Carol Ann Drive and Marie Angela Drive in the Madison Park subdivision, Tracy.