In 1865 a man named S.S. Coburn operated a stage station and public house for teamsters further east from the Donner Lake camp, aptly named "Coburn's Station." The present day site of Coburn's Station is the train depot in downtown Truckee, California. But before April 12, 1868, when the name was officially changed to Truckee, our quaint mountain-lumber town was Coburn's Station. The place had a life and energy of it's own; one that had never been witnessed before, and hasn't since.
Coburn himself was apparently a smith; an indispensable craftsman of the era who arrived from Dutch Flat with knowledge of the exact route of the proposed railroad. It just so happens he was also a music man.
When the Central Pacific rails began their ascent into the Sierra Foothills, Coburn’s Station was selected as the advance camp for the railroad construction crews. Workmen poured into the area and the settlement grew into a bustling lumber town. With the influx of workers and travelers, S.S. Coburn regularly played music for his men at Coburn Station. As the town grew, so did the scene. The massive music parties involved whiskey, wine, and weed (strong stuff provided by Chief Trokay himself) and dancing into the wee hours of the night. The music was new, and powerful, as big as the Redwoods and as sharp as the saws that laid them.
By December 1867, the first excursion train neared Donner Summit. Despite severe winter storms, a forty-ton locomotive named “San Mateo” was pulled and hauled in pieces on sleighs safely to Coburn Station. This special event sparked Coburn's most extravagant celebration yet. That night, the spirit of the locomotive took control of the music, and the railroad workers danced hard, and they danced well. Coburn Station came alive with the energy and spirit of all the pines that had been jacked to lumber, all the men that had laid the rail, and all the locomotives that would run it's tracks from this day forward.
In the midst of the magical jam, Coburn's guitar started to glow with heat, as bright as burning coal. The music soared and the people raged. And as the music of Coburn's soul was floating over the sage and Sierras, Coburn yelled to his fleet, "Let there be music as strong and hot as a steam engine! It will melt your face!"
And melt faces it did.
Coburn Station is a band dedicated to this idea, this great man, and the night the music took control, and melted the face's of those men.
Thank you S.S. Coburn. This jam is for you.
Coburn Station’s tracks