Sunday, April 5, 2009
It tickles me how much the locals love their old locomotive steam train here in Jamestown, an old gold rush conclave four miles west of Sonora. Free to locals for opening weekend, we were entertained by a fiddler and regaled with wonderful gold fever stories told by a docent conductor. The huge nugget at Kautz winery was pulled from Jamestown, or Jimtown, as it is lovingly knicknamed. The train was loaded and the locals don't care that they have to stop at crossroads for the slow moving engine. They don't mind the two long, one short and one long blast of the screaming steam whistle as it warns its approach to the crossings and wakes up the whole town. The kids on board were delighted and recognized that this ride is something different, something special. Right out of the movies, in fact. Over 200 movies and/or television episodes were filmed here in part, using the train and environs. We decided to watch "The Unforgiven" , after spending the day in Jimtown and riding this special attraction. The working steam train and round house, are the only ones that exist west of the Mississippi River. Don't miss it.