In 1867 John “One-Arm” Murphy settled in Stanislaus County and operated a ferry crossing on the Stanislaus River between Salida and Ripon. Three years later the Central Pacific Railroad extended it’s track through the area. John Murphy gave land to the Railroad south of the river and added a side railroad track. A community began building up alongside the railroad tracks that consisted of 2 warehouses, a grocery store, a restaurant and a blacksmith shop. John Murphy wanted the community to be named “Murphy” after himself, however the government would not approve it since there was an existing town near Angels Camp called “Murphys”. In 1870, the area became known as “Murphy’s Switch”, however that name would not last more than 5 years.
A neighborhood in present-day Salida bears the name “Murphy’s Ferry” and “John Murphy Park” along Murphy Road memorializing this early Salida pioneer.
While Salida is named for the Spanish word meaning “exit”, the name is customarily pronounced according to English phonetics, as Sah-LIE-duh, rather than according to Spanish phonetics. The community was granted a Post Office in 1875. The name was changed to “Salida”, which in Spanish means “exit”, because the area’s crop, which was wheat, was shipped out down the river to San Francisco.
The current Salida Post Office
The town of Salida was born in 1908 when David T. Curtis purchased 80 acres from the Elmore family. He laid out 40 blocks and named the streets after early Salida pioneer families: Covert, Davis, Elmore, Park, Toomes, etc. The cross streets were named after trees. Curtis also established businesses in Salida: Hotel Curtis, a store that became C.E. Capps and Co., and the renowned Salida Livery Stable. Downtown Salida is situated in the original town layout. There are beautiful oak trees that line the median of Broadway Ave. which were planted around 1910 by the Women’s Improvement Club.
In the mid twentieth century Salida experienced very little growth, and it wasn’t until the 1980’s and 90’s when new housing developments sprang up around the established town. By the year 2000, Salida’s population had doubled. Light industrial business parks and the enterprise zone’s Landmark Business Park were built east of Freeway 99.
In 2007, the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors passed the Salida Now initiative as a growth plan for Salida which became the Salida Community Plan. The plan covers over 3,300 acres with 60% designated for commercial, industrial and business park developments. Straddling Freeway 99 and the North County Corridor, Salida offers prime locations for shovel-ready business development.
A Salida Chamber of Commerce was formed which brought improvements to Salida, such as establishing the Salida Lighting District and Salida Park. However, in the late 1980’s the Chamber of Commerce disbanded. A group of Salida residents reorganized the Salida Chamber of Commerce in January 2013 for the purposes of incorporating Salida into a city (as our neighbor Ripon had done) and to promote business and commerce in Salida.
We invite you to join the Salida Chamber of Commerce to be a part of our thriving community and future city.