Historic Truckee, CASparks and cinders flew from the back of those early Truckee trains that made their way up old Donner summit. Wood was the fuel of choice. What wasn’t used for the railroad, made it way to the mines of Virginia city to shore up the miles of tunnels riddling the earth up there. Only now, 150 years later, has the forest returned to something of its original grandeur.
Truckee was a railroad town and still is with old wood burners being replaced by 4 monster diesel engines with mile long trains now carrying goods from all over America, up Donner Pass to the 8th largest economy in the world, CALIFORNIA.
When you visit Truckee and you look carefully, shadows of the past can still be seen, faded, but still prominent. Rooms for $1.50 a night with steam heat adorn the weathered brick of a downtown building. Charlie Chaplin stands near the sign of the Empire Theatre which saw its last performance a hundred years ago.
Fire was the bane of this new frontier town. After several losses, the buildings were constructed with state of the art fire protection which consisted of several tons of sand assembled in the attics of new buildings so that when the inevitable fires broke out they would be extinguished just as soon as the ceilings burned through. Fires are still to be considered in a more modern Truckee. So, our firemen must consider the threat of tons of sand falling from a ceiling that might burn through.
A Chinese herb shop was reconstructed in its old location near the Truckee River. The Truckee jail resides on Jibboom Street which was known to house late night revelers in the famous red light district. Jibboom Street has tamed down since the days of its infamy. Gone are the ladies and their places of business. Drinking establishments have moved to the main street. But still, a neat place to visit.
Truckee is a town of great historic interest to the many tourists that visit the town each year. With its myriad of excellent restaurants, to its spectacular skiing, Truckee is still a magnet for knackers, mountain climbers, fishermen and women, bikers, boaters and other fun seekers.