Calico and Odessa Railroad

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Train through old mines in Calico, California.
Calico - a ghost town located in the Mojave Desert region of Southern California, USA.
Calico Ghost Town, California
Calico Ghost Town
Calico Ghost Town, San Bernardino County, California, USA.

The Calico & Odessa Railroad is a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge[1] heritage railroad in the ghost town of Calico, California, headquartered in Yermo, California. It was named for the town and mountain range of Calico and the nearby Odessa Canyon.[2]

It is a remake of the 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge Waterloo Mining Railroad, the original narrow gauge railroad line that hauled silver ore (and later borax) from Calico to the mills of Daggett in the 1880's, although the present-day tracks do not follow the trackbed of the original one.[3]

The railroad, like Calico itself, is now operated as a San Bernardino county historic park. Visitors to the park may take a short ride on the railroad for a fee.

History[edit]

Calico itself is an old West mining town which was restored as a living-history museum by Walter Knott, who then gave it to the county. Some of the original buildings and railroad equipment were moved from Calico to the "ghost town" exhibit at the Knott's Berry Farm theme park. Walter Knott purchased Calico in the 1950s. He then restored all the architecture in the town except for the five original buildings. He wanted these buildings to look the way they did in the 1880s.[4]

Calico has been around since 1881 during the largest silver strike in California. Over a 12 year span, Calico has 500 mines which produced over $20 million in silver ore.Unfortunately Calico lost it population in the mid-1890s because silver lost its value. There was no reason for the miners to continue their mining so they just left. The miner's moved away, abandoning their town. Calico was later known as a ghost town".[4]

Recognition[edit]

  • Calico received the State Historical Landmark 782
  • Calico was proclaimed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California's Silver Rush Ghost Town in 2005[4]

Current[edit]

Calico is now part of the San Bernardino County Regional Parks system. People from all around the world come to visit Calico. Visitors are able to experience rich history and enjoy natural beauty when they come. Calico Ghost Town also has shops, restaurants, and offers camping and outdoor recreation.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°56′57″N 116°51′50″W / 34.94917°N 116.86389°W / 34.94917; -116.86389