The Laws Railroad Museum and Historical Site is not just another train museum. Located on the site of the Laws Railroad station and rail yard, the land, 1883 depot and other buildings, and the last train, were donated to Inyo County and the City of Bishop by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1960. The museum is operated by the Bishop Museum and Historical Society under contract with those two agencies.
The gift deed from the Southern Pacific Company to the county and city reads as follows: "In appreciation of the interest of Inyo County and the City of Bishop in preserving the memory of the Far West's last common carrier narrow gauge railroad, the Keeler Branch, Southern Pacific Company is pleased to donate steam locomotive No.9 together with other rolling stock, and the Laws Station building and surrounding installations for safekeeping in behalf of generations to come."
At Laws, the Slim Princess now stands in mute testimony to the time when the Owens Valley depended upon the railroad for its contact with other parts of the world.
At the time the railroad shut down its operations, the village of Laws that grew up around the rail yard had disappeared. That village has been recreated by moving in historic buildings from around the Owens Valley and they now contain many artifacts and exhibits illustrating early life in the Owens Valley.
Our aim is to discover, procure, and preserve whatever may relate to the natural, civic, literary and ecclesiastical history of our area, and to establish and maintain collections.
The Laws Museum and Historical Site is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and designated by the State of California as Historical Landmark # 953.