Enjoy these Eastern Sierra tales of bygone days for your reading pleasure.

End Of The Line

Keeler, in these parts famed as the terminus of the Carson and Colorado Railroad, lies seventy miles south of Laws Station. The plan of the railroad entrepreneurs was for a terminus much further southeast, at the Colorado River, but plans change. There were multiple reasons for the change of plans for the Carson and Colorado’s “Slim Princess” line: obtaining rail from England took longer than anticipated; Chinese labor was less available than expected; and a slump in the price of silver meant less business for both the mines and the railroad built to serve them.

Locomotive No.9: The Challenge Ahead

Engine No.9


Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site has started the process of the renovation of locomotive No. 9. This Baldwin 10-wheeler has been a static outdoor exhibit at the museum since 1960. Renovation and preservation are big commitments, and our plan is eventually to assess the feasibility of steam operation.

Whether #9 is stabilized to resume static display status at the museum or is made operational remains to be seen. Either way, this undertaking will be a multi-year effort, requiring public support: donations, and volunteer fundraising and labor hours.   We are excited to undertake this challenge and privileged to become a part of the history of this 1909 locomotive.

Calico Quilters Quilt Show

Laws Library and Art Center, May 25-28, 2023

2023 Calico Quilters Quilt ShowThe Bishop Calico Quilters selected Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site as the venue for their annual Memorial weekend quilt show this year, and what a perfect opportunity it was to honor both the 100-year anniversary of Father Crowley’s church, and the completion of our rehabilitation of the church’s exterior.

...The Calico Quilters do an outstanding job of combining tradition and innovation. the exhibit of their work was truly a tribute to the library’s purpose...


Hoyles' History - April 2023

Bob Hoyle

Bob Hoyle

A trip out to Laws is always a good time and loaded with fun. When the Brill is running, now that is a better time as the train crew take great pride in sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with all of us.

The next time you venture out to ride the Brill car perhaps you will pass through the loading area and purchase a round trip ticket from a very friendly individual whose name is Paul, Paul Thompson to be exact. Paul is one of our longest volunteers who joined us in 1994, that’s 29 years! Like most of us...


Tipping Points

By Lynna Walker

The last two weekends of March 2023 at Laws Railroad Museum were the quintessential definition of the “tipping point” concept. Visitors from across the nation rode the last few thousand feet of the original Carson and Colorado Railroad narrow gauge track in the Laws Railroad Museum & Historical Site in vintage caboose #401, behind the vintage 1911 Carson and Colorado/Southern Pacific Baldwin steam engine #18.

Few of these passengers had ever heard of Anna Kelly or Myron Alexander.  Anna in 1954, and Myron, in 1996 were two Independence residents who likely never met. But each tipped the scales of local history to make the 2023 Slim Princess Sisters in History 140th Anniversary event possible at Laws Railroad Museum. The Laws #9 Slim Princess Baldwin Locomotive, built in 1909, no longer runs, and is a static display at the museum. Anna Kelly, a young woman in Independence...


Hoyle's History - August 2022

Jay Smart

On Friday July 1st I sat down with Jay Smart, the guru of the mine display, and poked into his past as he is and has always struck me as a very interesting person and thought it was time to share who he is with our readers. 

Raised in northern California Jay went to first thru third grade in a two-room schoolhouse in the town of Boonville California. He graduated high school in 1959 from South Fork High School in Miranda, California. Jay immediately went to work after graduation as a Park Aid at Richardson Grove State Park 1959-1964 which Jay describes as training to be a jack of all trades...

Borax Wagon Mural Installation

Submitted by Preston Chiaro and Henry Golas of the Death Valley Conservancy 

The Bluw-Up team from DVC

One of the DVC's most valued partnerships is with the Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site in Bishop, CA. During 2016, while the DVC were constructing our reproduction Death Valley 20-Mule Team Borax Wagons to appear in the 2017 Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA, Laws raised funds and constructed a dedicated exhibit barn to house the wagons. At that time many ideas were tossed around regarding what additional exhibits might go into the wagon barn; the notion of installing a mural on the back wall was near the top of the list. We just needed time to raise the funds for it. We're happy to announce that this project to enhance the wagon barn experience is now completed.

Early Schools of the Northern Owens Valley

A sign of an established settlement in the Wild West wasn’t necessarily how many miners, hotels or saloons had collected in one spot; those came and went.  The sign of a viable community was the establishment of a school. It represented family life, a stable society, and educated children who would become the foundation of their community. But there was no school to greet the first Euro-Americans who settled in the northern Owens River Valley.