Kearsarge station M.P. 550.1

Taking water in 1952

Taking water in 1952

In 2003, the Carson and Colorado Railway became aware that the original station site of Kearsarge was still owned by SP’s successor, Union Pacific RR. The 13 acre site included approximately three quarters of a mile of right of way that included the station site, water well, and section house sites. Through some timely donations the CCRW was able to purchase the site from UPRR.

Station platform site, looking south 2008.

Station platform site, looking south 2008.

Water tank foundations 2004.

Water tank foundations 2004.

Although the site – save for some foundations – was virtually undetectable from the rest of the desert, the CCRW was determined to some day make a memorial on the site. That day came in 2009 when the CCRW was approached by the “Slim Princess” Chapter of E. Clampus Vitus (Clampers) about doing a granite plaque at the site. The CCRW decide to take it one step further and lay 100 feet on track on the original right of way to complement the plaque.

Track laying March 2009.

Track laying March 2009.

On a cool March weekend in 2009, the CCRW and Clampers came together and put down 100 feet of rail and ties in about eight hours. Along with the ties and rail, the station site was marked out, an interpretive sign with site map was erected and best of all an authentic Railroad Crossing sign was placed next to Mazourka Canyon Road!

owens valley 023In June of 2009, The Clampers set their stone monument and performed a dedication ceremony that saw the largest gathering of people at the Kearsarge station in 100 years, over 120 people attended!

The 2009 construction crew.

The 2009 construction crew.

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A fun day was had by all who attended.

In 2013 the Clampers again called up the CCRW and asked if they could do it again. So In April 2013 an additional 60 feet of track was added to the display.

 

2009 dedication, CCRW president Dave Mull at center with hat. 1926 Dodge at right.

2009 dedication, CCRW president Dave Mull at center with hat. 1926 Dodge at right.

 

While there are no current plans to add to the 160 feet of track currently in the ground, in all probability there will be more track added at some point in time. Why? Simply to leave a lasting reminder of the SP narrow gauge in the Independence region of the Owens Valley.

Completed track, April 2013

Completed track, April 2013

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Cattle Guard

About 7 rail miles north of Kearsarge is the last remaining cattle guard that served the narrow gauge right of way. With the construction of a new fence just north of the cattle guard in 2010, the CCRW stabilized the cattle guard, including the addition of 3 ties and two short pieces of rail.

Before

Before

After

After