Tuolumne County Timeline


1951 Dodge Ridge snow ski recreation area opens
1952 "High Noon" with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly filmed at Tuolumne County locations, including Sierra Railway

Tri-Dam Project comprised of 3 dams, 3 power houses, and 3 reservoirs at Donnell, Beardsley, and Tulloch.


West Side Lumber Co. railroad closes after decision to use logging trucks; New Moccasin power house (Hetch Hetchy) completed.

1962, Apr.

West Side Lumber Co.’s Tuolumne saw mill shut down by strike; burns down later in the year and closes permanently
1963 "Petticoat Junction" TV program filmed in Tuolumne County using Sierra Railway equipment
1965 Pickering Lumber Co. Railroad abandoned (old Sugar Pine Railroad)  and Pickering Lumber Company sold to Fiberboard Paper Products
1968 Columbia College opens in Columbia State Historic Park; later moves to its current location near San Diego Reservoir
1971 Don Pedro Dam and reservoir completed.
1974 New Melones Dam, power house, and reservoir completed.
1983, July

State of California Parks & Recreation opens Railtown 1897 State Historic Park; steam excursion and interpretive living history 

1990 Sierra Railroad movie, "Back to the Future III", starring Michael J. Fox & Christopher Lloyd. Sierra Railway engine #3 “The Movie Queen” & futuristic DeLorean car appear in film.
1994, June

Sonora Mine, an open pit gold mine, located in Jamestown closes after operating for eight years; 1993 largest crystalline gold specimen in North America found the day after Christmas.

1995, Aug. Fiberboard Wood Products sold Pickering Lumber Co. to Sierra Pacific Industries; including SPI mill at Standard and mill at Chinese Camp.
1995, Sept. Sierra Railroad passes to a group of creditors.
2000, Dec. Dedication of the Carlo M. De Ferrari Archive by Walter P. Gray III, Chief of California State Archives
2002 West Side Lumber Co.’s 380 acres was sold at auction to Tuolumne Band of Indians (Me-Wuk) for housing and casino development
2007, Jan.

Rescue the 1897 Jamestown Branch Jail begins; relocating the old brick & wooden building from Lodi, California back to Jamestown, rehabilitation completed Oct. 21, 2008

2009, Apr. Sierra Pacific Industries announces July closure of the Standard mill; ends over 150 years of timber industry in Tuolumne County
2010, June Sierra Pacific Industries mill closed in 2009, has a plan to re-tool the mill to accommodate smaller diameter logs and reopen in May 2011
2010, July

Railtown 1897 SHP debuts the fully operational 1891 Sierra Railway Engine No. 3, “The Movie Queen,” after a three-year $1.5 million restoration.