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Mother Lode History Train Experiences

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Date(s) - 04/27/2024 - 04/28/2024
10:30 am - 4:00 pm

Railtown 1897 Historic State Park Jamestown


California State Parks, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, and the California State Railroad Museum Foundation are excited to present a series of The Mother Lode History Train experiences beginning on April 27-28, 2024. In addition, the special activation will also take place May 26-27 over Memorial Day Weekend. The unique interpretive experiences will include living history stories inspired by the Gold Rush era in Tuolumne County and the early days of the Sierra Railroad. Passengers will be treated to a one-hour excursion train ride behind the historic 1953 Baldwin Whitcomb No.1265 engine with colorful historical characters aboard sharing fascinating facts and stories of intrigue, humor, and adventure. Three train rides will be offered each day departing at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties are rich with popular American history and folklore, as many famous historical characters lived and visited in this area over the past 200 years. Aboard The Mother Lode History Train, passengers will hear stories like how Mark Twain became such a popular American writer and storyteller, and how Grizzly Adams earned his nickname, training and wrestling Grizzly bears.

Many other historical figures may also be portrayed onboard this excursion sharing recounted narratives, including:
• Annie Kline Rikert, the first female President of a railroad;
• Benjamin Wood who discovered gold in what is now known as Tuolumne County;
• William Bailey, a Sierra Railway conductor, and cousin of Thomas S. Bullock, who was killed when Sierra No. 3® derailed at Chinese Station in 1898;
• Miss Adelaide Prudence, teacher at a one-room schoolhouse during the 1890s;
• Colonel George James, the founder of Jamestown, CA;
• William Nevills, owner of the nearby Rawhide Gold Mine and Hotel Nevills in Jamestown;
• Gary Cooper and Mae West, from Railtown’s distinguished Hollywood movie history.
• Leanna Donner, a Donner Party survivor who married a Tuolumne County mine owner.

Excursion train ride tickets for The Mother Lode History Train are available online in advance or at the Depot Store, on a first-come, first-served basis. All train ride tickets include Park admission and cost $28 for adults, $18 for youth ages 6-17, and are free for children 5 and under.

For tickets or more information about The Mother Lode History Train experiences and/or Railtown 1897 SHP in general, please visit For more information about the California State Railroad Museum Foundation, please visit