September 10, 1884, is an important date in Memphis history, although one often forgotten.
This was the day that the final spike was driven for the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad, later to become a part of the Illinois Central Gulf.
The railroad would open service between Memphis and Vicksburg, through the previously un-served Yazoo Delta. It opened the area to constant trade and year-round markets. Lumber, cotton, beans, and manufactured products were shipped on this new railroad.
With the sudden rise of lumber as a large industry in the Memphis area, the city earned the nickname “The Hardwood Capitol of the World.”
Once the land was cleared of its lumber, the tide turned to cotton, making Memphis the world's largest center of cotton storage and trade.
In the time of railroads, Memphis became a central point, where East and West met.