Bryan was platted on land granted to the Houston & Texas Central Railroad in 1859. In 1900, a second railroad, the Calvert, Waco & Brazos Valley (CW & BV) was built through Bryan by George Gould. The CW & BV built a depot here in 1900; besides train activities, the depot hosted social events until it was razed in 1990. In 1901, when tracks were extended to Waco, the CW & BV merged with the International & Great Northern Railroad (I & GN). The trains helped Bryan become a center of commerce as the railroads were used to ship goods, particularly cotton, to larger markets for sale. Passengers also used the trains for travel. Railroad use declined after World War II, though resurgences occurred in the 1970s and 1990s.