Bryant Station was the terminus of the California and Nevada Railroad, a narrow-gauge steam line which transported local harvests to the Emeryville docks. The railroad, formed in 1881, was originally planned to run passengers and freight to the silver mining camp of Bodie. By 1901, however, track beds had only been laid to Glorietta Boulevard, and the line to Orinda was abandoned.
The Bryant Station was named to honor Mayor Andrew J. Bryant of San Francisco. Mayor Bryant owned a large farm in Orinda Park, where his beautiful gardens and large outdoor dance floor were the train's main attraction. After 1893, the Orinda Crossroads was popularly referred to as Bryant's Corners.