Clarksville awakens with celebration

By: Penne Usher Telegraph Correspondent
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Horse drawn wagons, mounted Pony Express riders, gold panners and Mountain Men brought the tiny ghost town of Clarksville to life Saturday. The one-day celebration was a living re-enactment of what the town was like back in its 1800s heyday. Rock ruins of a Wells Fargo bank, rock walls and antiquated remains of homes mark where the town once thrived just east of El Dorado Hills’ Town Center. Two years ago, when the historic town site was first opened to the public, more than 3,000 people attended the celebration. The occasional gunfight — as acted out by the Blue Canyon Gang — was only rivaled by the resonating boom of cannon fire. Throngs of visitors gathered around the Mormon Battalion as they ignited the replica cannon. Joni Remer, of El Dorado Hills, brought her two children, Sydney, 8, and Michael, 10. This is their second year attending the event. “This is really great,” Joni Remer said. “We really like the re-enactments.” Sydney Remer was focused on the stories of 1800s medicine by Dan Wills of Grandpa’s Pharmacy. But it was the horse drawn wagon that really got her excited. “I like the horses,” she said excitedly. “They are really big.” Jeff Shinn, of Shinn Road Percherons, held the reins as a team of four large percherons — members of the draft horse family — carted visitors in an open passenger mud coach from the parking lot to Clarksville. The equine stand more than 18 hands and weigh 2,400 pounds, Shinn said. Russ the Gold Panner, a fixture at Coloma State Historic Park, taught kids the art of gold panning. Jen Stevens watched as her 7-year-old daughter Emma worked diligently to find flecks of gold in her pan. “This is our first time here and we’ve been having so much fun,” Jen Stevens said. “The history that has come alive is amazing.” For more on Clarksville, including a history of the town, visit