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Ghost town fires back to life at Clarksville Day

By: Don Chaddock Telegraph managing editor
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A little ghost town in El Dorado Hills is about to get very lively. On May 7, horse-drawn wagons, a stagecoach, Pony Express riders, Mormon Battalion re-enactors and a gold panner will turn back the clock to Clarksville’s late 1800s heyday. Betty January, one of the organizers of the Clarksville Day celebration, said they’ve added a lot of new activities this year. “We’ll have three horse-drawn wagons to bring people in as well as extra golf carts for handicapped individuals,” she said. Parking is located in a dirt lot near the highway. Visitors park there and walk, or ride the wagon, into the old town site. “We need parking for 1,000 cars,” January said. Two years ago, when the historic town site was first opened to the public, more than 3,000 people attended the celebration. “The Blue Canyon Gang, complete with ladies in saloon costumes and gunslingers, will also be there,” she said. Expect the occasional gunfight or an even louder blast when a certain replica cannon is fired. The Mormon Battalion fires their cannon periodically throughout the day, according to January. “You would be amazed at what they have to go through to fire that,” she said. “It’s very interesting.” Russ the Gold Panner, a fixture at Coloma State Historic Park, will teach kids the art of gold panning. Pioneer-era live music, food and non-alcoholic beverages will also be available. “There will also be a private collection of railroad engines,” she said. “And cars from the early 1900s through 1930s will ride along the old stretch of Lincoln Highway.” According to January, the town boasts the longest stretch of original Lincoln Highway still intact in California. Cemetery tours will also be available and, according to January, one of the pioneers buried at the Clarksville Cemetery is a Civil War veteran. For more on Clarksville, including a history of the town, visit edhhistory.org. * * * KNOW AND GO Clarksville Day When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday Where: Clarksville town site, at White Rock Road and Highway 50, near the Silva Valley Parkway underpass, in El Dorado Hills Cost: Free admission Information: edhhistory.org