Roscoe Boulevard

There are two theories about this street name – one cute, one cynical. Both agree that Roscoe began as the name of a Southern Pacific train station located at the east end of present-day Roscoe Blvd. The “station” – a wee little shelter, really – was named by January 1st, 1888. The town that developed around it was called Roscoe from 1896 until 1949, when it was rechristened Sun Valley. (This street adopted the Roscoe moniker by 1914.) Now, back to Roscoe’s origins: The feel-good version is that a young Southern Pacific employee named Roscoe regularly asked engineers to stop near his girlfriend’s house so he could jump off and go a-courtin’, and thus “Roscoe’s stop” was born. But I’d put my money on the blander, more corporate explanation: the stop was named after Roscoe Conkling (1829-1888), a very famous ex-Senator who had recently represented the Southern Pacific in a landmark court case. (This was the case that opened the door to the “corporations are people” interpretation of the 14th Amendment – which Conkling himself had helped draft.) Of course it’s extremely possible that both theories are wrong and Roscoe was just some local farmer.