2017-2018 Nevada County Gold Magazine 2017-2018_Nevada County Gold Magazine - Page 47

TRUCKEE HISTORY, MUSEUMS, MEMORIAL STATE PARK Railroad in Downtown Truckee / M U S E U M S 쑺 Museums OLD JAIL MUSEUM: Jibboom and Spring Streets. Built in 1875, see what a jail from the old west was like. Exhibits on Truckee’s film industry and ice harvesting, also early winter sports artifacts. Pick up a sandwich or snack and enjoy the garden behind jail. Open each weekend in summer until Labor Day, 11:00 am–4:00 pm. Joseph Research Center, 10115 Donner Trail Rd. (530) 582-0893; truckeehistory.org TRUCKEE RAILROAD MUSEUM: Commercial Row, Old Town. Located in a caboose, brings local railroad history to life. Open Saturday, Sunday and major holidays, 10:00 am–4:00 pm and “Truckee Thursdays.” truckeedonnerrailroadsociety.com WESTERN SKISPORT MUSEUM: Boreal Ski Resort, I-80 at Donner Summit. Ski history. Open Friday–Sunday, 10:00 am–4:00 pm during ski season. (530) 426-3313 x101; auburnskiclub.com 20 MILE MUSEUM: Drive Old Hwy. 40 from I- 80 Eagle Lakes exit over Donner Summit and below Rainbow Bridge. Forty interpre- tive signs highlight history and beauty of area. Link to route and maps under History at donnersummithistoricalsociety.org. Donner Memorial State Historic Park G OLD HAD NOT BEEN DISCOVERED when pioneers seeking a better life in the west came across a friendly Indian chief who guided them through the area near what is now the Town of Truckee. This encounter led to a route thousands of emigrants used to cross into the state between 1844 and 1854. Although the route was well established, it wasn’t until 1863 that the first pioneer settled in the area and built a stage coach station near the trail. Growth occurred in the late 1860s when the Central Pacific Railroad was laying track in the Sierra Nevada. Over 10,000 Chinese worked under dangerous conditions, and for a time, the area had the largest Chinatown on the west coast. The first train arrived in 1868. That year fire destroyed the town which was moved, rebuilt and named Truckee after the nearby river which had been named to honor the Indian chief. The town became so rowdy that a Vigilance Committee was formed to bring law and order. Along with lumber, ice harvesting became an important part of the town’s economy. Using the railroad, ice was supplied to California and points east. In the 1890s, efforts were made to attract visitors during the cold winters. An ice palace with a toboggan run and ice rink was built, and Truckee’s tourist industry was born. H I S TO RY Must Do! Two miles west of Truckee just off I-80 at Exit 184 is a state park located on Donner Lake. Visitors will find a wide range of recreational opportunities including camping, picnicking, hiking and cross country skiing, and the Pioneer Monument completed in 1918 to honor those who crossed the Sierra Nevada. Park open year around sunrise to sunset. VISITORS CENTER: Features exhibits that tell stories of the emigrant experience, the Donner Party (more on Page 127), local Native Americans, Chinese con- struction of the transcontinental railroad, as well as motoring adventures over Donner Pass. Open daily, 10:00 am–5 KY[][\X\]YX\&\^K L H N MLHHHHH B