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Clarksville ghost town roars to life Saturday

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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EL DORADO HILLS CA - The tiny ghost town of Clarksville will come alive with horse drawn wagons, mounted Pony Express riders, gold panners and Mountain Men May 5 for the 6th Annual Clarksville Day. The one-day celebration will be a living re-enactment of what the town was like back in its 1800s heyday. This year the event is said to be bigger, better and possibly the last. Organizers have added a shuttle to the area cemetery, more food vendors and new historical reenactments. Betty January, of the Clarksville Region Historical Society said road construction in the area south of Highway 50 near Silva Valley Road may prevent the event from returning next year. ?They will be going right through our parking lot (for the work),? she said. ?The town itself will be OK but we won?t have any way in or a parking lot.? January said ending the annual reenactment event is not set in stone, but construction would at the very least, delay the event for at least three years. 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. When the historic town site was first opened to the public, more than 3,000 people attended the celebration. The Placerville Sacramento Valley Rail Road Association, Percheron horse and wagons, Mountain Men, and various historical reenactment groups will bring a bit of the old west to life. Admission to the family-friendly event is free. Heather Silton, of Cameron Park, who took her children last year, said she plans on attending again this year. ?It?s a great event and a wonderful opportunity for kids to really see living history,? she said. Back in its heyday Clarksville was near the junction of the stagecoach road from Sacramento and the freight road east to the Sierra gold mines. The town began a slow decline following the end of the Gold Rush boom. In the 1960s, Highway 50 was built and bypassed Clarksville and, according to local historians, the community faded away. * * * KNOW AND GO What: Clarksville Day When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., May 5 Cost: Admission is free Where: White Rock Road and Silva Valley Parkway, south of Highway 50 * * * Clarksville Facts ? Founded with Mormon Tavern in 1849-50 ? Served as Pony Express re-mount station, 1860-61 ? Named ?Clarksville? by U.S. Post Office in 1855 ? Coast-to-coast Lincoln Highway designated through town, 1913 ? In 1960s, most of town purchased and renamed El Dorado Hills Where is it? The dozen remaining structures of original town is located at 1500 White Rock Road just south of Highway 50 in El Dorado Hills. The area is private property. For more information, visit www.edhhistory.org. Source: Clarksville Region Historical Society