JAMESTOWN, Calif. – California State Parks, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (SHP) and the California State Railroad Museum Foundation will host the 4th Annual Apple Harvest Day on Saturday, October 6, 2018, at Railtown 1897 SHP. Apple Harvest Day celebrates the history of apple production in Tuolumne County – which dates back to the early days of the Gold Rush – and the Sierra Railway’s part in both promoting apple cultivation and transporting the produce and products. At this special event, Park visitors will learn about the history of Tuolumne County apples, and kids will enjoy crafts and games, a free booklet on fun apple facts and trivia plus a heritage apple quiz with locally grown apples as prizes.
On his first visit to Tuolumne County, Thomas Bullock – one of the Sierra Railway founders – saw the potential for large scale apple production in the area’s volcanic soils, mild climate and rolling topography. Through the years, the Sierra Railway continuously promoted the growth of the apple industry through advertising, informative booklets on successful cultivation, and bonuses and incentives for those planting new orchards of ten acres or more. At the height of apple production, before World War II, apple orchards blanketed the county foothills and Tuolumne County apples were in great demand.
The special apple harvest activities at Railtown 1897 SHP are free with regular Park admission: $5 for adults; $3 for youths ages 6-17; and free for children ages 5 and under. Also, steam train rides behind the famous “Movie Star Locomotive” Sierra No. 3® are available that day at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. and cost $15 for adults; $10 for youths ages 6-17; and are free for children ages 5 and under (train ride tickets include Park admission). All train ride tickets are available for advance purchase online as well as at the ticket window beginning at 10 a.m. on the day of the ride (based on availability).