Jamestown in Tuolumne County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
The railroad served many Mother Lode mines and was a trunk line for the Sugar Pine (Pickering), Westside, and Hetch-Hetchy Railroads. It played a vital role in hauling materials and supplies used to build the Don Pedro, Melones, OShaughnessy, and Tri-Dam Projects.
The State Historic Resources Commission unanimously voted Railtown 1897 and the 56-mile Sierra Railroad eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, August 7, 1981.
Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. approved the appropriation and the following members of the legislature sponsored Assembly Concurrent Resolution 56 (April, 1981) which directed Railtown 1897 be acquired as a unit of the State Park System.
The first President of Friends of the Sierra Railroad, Stanley F. Cassasa (1912 – 1981) and Legislative Lobbyist Marie (Sandy) Green (1930 – 1981) are honored for dedication to preservation of Railtown 1897 and the railroading era represented.
Erected 1982 by Friends of the Sierra Railroad.
Location. 37° 57.047′ N, 120° 25.023′ W. Marker is in Jamestown, California, in Tuolumne County. Marker can be reached from Sierra Avenue east of 9th Street. Touch for map. Marker is located near the flag pole at the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. The
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sierra Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Sierra Railway Shops (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jamestown United Methodist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); St. James Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); National Hotel (approx. 0.4 miles away); Ramirez – Preston Building (approx. 0.4 miles away); Jamestown (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Emporium – 1897 (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jamestown.
More about this marker. This is a fee use site and the marker is located inside of the park area.
Regarding “Railtown 1897”. Information posted on museum display:
Built to serve the mining and timber industries of Californias Mother Lode, construction of the Sierra Railway from Oakdale to Jamestown in 1897 brought reliable transportation to the region for the first time. The line was extended to Sonora in 1899. By 1900, the Sierra connected with the West Side Flume & Lumber Company in Tuolumne City.
A 19-mile branch to Angels Camp
The Sierra established its headquarters and maintenance shops in Jamestown, now site of the Railtown 1897, the Historic Sierra Railway Shops. Most of the structures were built between 1897 and 1922, when the last major additions and improvements were made. When the Sierra converted to diesel locomotives in 1955 a small shop was built in Oakdale. The Jamestown shops remained intact, serving the occasional needs of the motion picture and television industries.
The facility opened for tours and regular train rides in 1971. In 1982, the 26-acre site and collection of historic locomotives and rolling stock were purchased by the State of California for inclusion in the State Park System, thus preserving one of North Americas last surviving steam-era railroad facilities.
Railtown 1897 is operated by the California State Railroad Museum, a part of the California Department of Parks and Recreation
The Sierra Railroad has been one of Hollywoods favorite locations for nearly 80 years. Beginning with the filming of a silent serial in 1919, Sierras trains have been featured in well over 200 productions
Although several Sierra locomotives have been used in films over the years, No.3 is the lines undisputed star. It has appeared in more pictures than any other engine in the world. Built in 1891 and purchased by the Sierra in 1897, the “three-spot” is perhaps best known to the general public as the “Hooterville Cannonball” – the locomotive of the popular 1960s television series “Petticoat Junction.”
Number 3s classic design allows it to be easily adapted to various eras through the use of “make-up.” Different styles of smokestacks and headlights, as well as paint and lettering appropriate to a films setting are applied. In addition, the oil-burning No.3 is often seen with a wood pile covering the oil tank on the tender, a cosmetic feature meant to give the engine an older appearance.
[ Sierra #3 has recently undergone a total restoration
Also see . . .
1. Railtown 1897. The official website of the State Historic Park with links to additional information. The California State Railroad Museum (CSRM), headquartered in Old Sacramento, assumed responsibility for Railtown 1897 State Historic Park on July 1, 1992. (Submitted on June 27, 2010.)
2. Restoration Done, Sierra No. 3 is Ready to Get Back on Track. A Sacramento Bee Article by Dixie Reed - June 27, 2010
"The old girl (trains, like ships, seem to be accorded the feminine gender) was out of commission for 14 years. Now she's back, stronger than ever, after a $1.5 million restoration and a brand-new boiler." (Submitted on June 27, 2010.)
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 26, 2010, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,748 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on June 27, 2010, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.