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Laws & Laws Railroad Museum
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Mural in the town of Bishop, CA - photo courtesy of Ray DeLea


All photo cards on this page courtesy of Rich McCutchan archives unless otherwise noted.

More Laws photos can be found HERE.

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Main Street in Laws, CA

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Southern Pacific RR Depot - Laws, CA -1969

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Main Street Laws - circa 1924


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Laws Railroad Museum - Laws, CA


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The Hawthorne, of the Carson & Colorado Railroad - 1888

Built in 1883 to tap an expected flood of silver from mines near Owens Valley, the Carson & Colorado narrow gauge ran the length of the valley, crossed Montgomery Pass, and connected with the Virginia & Truckee near Carson City. Although the silver flood never materialized, and the Carson & Colorado was not the smashing success its financiers envisioned, the "Slim Princess," as the affectionately called her, was dear to the hearts of Valley people.

The Hawthorne, a Baldwin 4-4-0 brass-bound wood-burning locomotive, was built in 1882 and scrapped in 1907. These "sunflower stacks" had wire mesh at the top to catch sparks. Note the pinon wood piled high in the tender.

Eastern California Museum photo
1975 Genny Smith

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Hauling Pinon Wood for the Carson & Colorado RR in the 1880's

On the 300-mile frun between Keeler on Owens Lake and Mound House, Nevada, the locomotives gobbled up quantities of pinon wood. Howard Farrigton gives these details of supplying the wood: "My uncle Arch and my father William Farrington had a contract with the narrow gauge railroad to furnish wood for the wood burning engines. This pinon wood was packed from the mountains to these loading spots by pack mules. Each wagon, all hand made, hauled eight cords to the load."

Eastern California Museum photo, gift of Howard C. Farrington
1975 Genny Smith

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Laws Depot - Laws, CA

In 1907 the Laws depot was a busy transfer point fro materials that were brought in by railroad for Bishop Creek plus livestock and farm produce that were shipped out of Owens Valley. The corporate name of the Carson & Colorado had been officially changed to Nevada and California Railway in May 1905. The Laws Station forms a part of the Laws Railroad Museum located near Bishop, CA.
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Carson & Colorado RR Locomotive No. 9

The Slim Princess and a string of cars at the Laws Station building and surrounding railroad installations form the Laws Railroad Museum located ooutside of Bishop, CA.

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Engine No. 6 - the "Hawthorne"

The Hawthorne was built for the Carson & Colorado RR by Baldwin in 1882, paused for this photo at the Laws (originally named Bishop Creek) depot in the spring of 1888. The
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The Slim Princess

The Slim Princess, the last of the Western Narrow Gauge, started out as the Carson & Colorado Railway. The C & C was a step-child of the Virginia & Truckee RR with its north connection at the Carson River and the plans to build to the Colorado River. The southern end never went past Keeler where the shop for steam power was located. Twenty-three different steam-locomotives have operated on the line, all but one built by Baldwin. The crew were not only their own machinists, but worked the hand-operated gallows turntables. The road operated in such a casual manner that the entire crew would stop the train and go deer hunting or go swimming in Walker Lake. While switching at Aberdeen, a bull elk chased a conductor who escaped by climbing a boxcar ladder. The last train to run was on April 29, 1961. The Laws Depot, 1100 feet of track with rolling stock was given to the City of Bishop. Engine #18 (Type 4-6-0, built in 1911: 44-16x20-87, 150) taken out of service in the fall of 1954 is at Dehy Park in Independence, CA

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Laws Railroad Museum - 1996
(Photo courtesy of Bob Pilatos)


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This page was last updated on 06 April 2017