Free celebration set at museum
The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad and Transportation Museum will host its third annual celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on Kidder Court in Nevada City.
The free event will feature guided tours, live music, rail bus rides, horse-drawn wagon rides, food vendors and more.
The museum, part of the Nevada County Historical Society, is dedicated to the preservation of transportation history in the county. The Transportation Museum Division was founded in 1983 by a small group dedicated to the cause.
The museum, which is staffed entirely by volunteers, welcomed nearly 4,500 visitors in 2005. The staff also logged nearly 15,000 volunteer hours last year.
The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad was constructed in 1875 to link the rich mining districts of western Nevada County with Central Pacific’s transcontinental railroad in Colfax.
During its 66 years of operation, the railroad hauled out more than $200 million in gold, while bringing in mining machinery, lumber, petroleum products and all essentials necessary in maintaining the community.
In addition, thousands of citizens rode the passenger trains, mixed trains and the occasional special excursions. The railroad’s service, combined with the prosperity of the mines, kept Nevada County from facing the brunt of the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Its route boasted the highest railroad bridge in California at the time (the Bear River Bridge) and was the first railroad in the United States to have a woman serve as its president (Sara Kidder, 1900-1912).
World War II and the closure of gold mines in western Nevada County led to the Narrow Gauge Railroad’s abandonment in 1942.
Know & Go
WHAT: Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad and Transportation Museum’s third annual celebration
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: 5 Kidder Court, Nevada City; take Gold Flat exit off Highway 49, to Hollow Way, to Bost Avenue.
INFORMATION: 470-0902; http://www.ncngrrmuseum.org
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