A Couple of Hours at Laws

I know I’ve kept saying that I will spend more time with myself outside my apartment. It’s one of my goals for 2011. Today was the day for that. My boss, supervisor and I were supposed to go to Dyer, Nevada and Fish Lake Valley today but the trip was cancelled at the last minute. I decided to spend a little bit of time at Laws Railroad Museum.

Laws is one of my favorite places to visit in the Owens Valley and I tell people that it is a place where a lot of my family’s history is stored. My grandfather’s side of my family immigrated here in the late 1800’s and we’re still here. People here the surnames of Rossi or Serventi and they know that I come from one of the pioneering families. My great-grandmother used to tell me stories about how it took all day to go to Laws. Now it is a five-minute drive outside Bishop. The last train to run on the tracks at Laws was in 1960.

Laws runs on donations and volunteers. No matter where you look, you can be transported back in time. Laws is a great place to have a picnic on a warm summer day while the kids can run around and ring the bell on the Slim Princess.  They are constantly opening new buildings and gathering items donated by people around here. Laws is built on 11 acres of land.

The Agent’s House is my favorite building and reopened recently after getting a new foundation. It was built in 1883 in the location it is still standing in today. Houses were much smaller back then. They have a quilt on the bed that gets changed out every now and then. If Mrs. Matlick is up to stopping by, you can hear her play the organ that she donated. The house displays vintage garments, shoes, furniture, a copper tub in the bathroom, an old washing machine in the service porch and even a couple of wreaths made from human hair that are exquisite and you cannot tell what they are made of until you take a closer look. The dining room has various sets of china and photos that were taken a hundred years ago. It truly is a sight to see.

Next time you are in the area, please visit. It truly is amazing at what the many volunteers have done to preserve the history of Bishop and the Owens Valley and the families that live here.

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