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Larry Bowler
07/10/2014 2:27 PM

Larry Bowler

Amador Central Railroad

I was witness to a rare demonstration of administrative leadership by a local official recently. Ed Pattison, Ione City Manager, has been inherited and assisted with pursuing the vision and development of a city community center and railroad museum through his efforts to oversee the re-location of the historic, 140-year-old Ione train depot to City property located along Union Pacific rail lines adjacent to the Junior High in Ione.

This building was donated to the city by the Union Pacific Railroad some months ago after it was designated to be dismantled and destroyed. Working in partnership with the Ione City Mayor, Rev. Dan Epperson, and train depot volunteers, the building was saved and moved from Union Pacific property to a city owned property adjoining the tracks. Under his leadership, Ed Pattison worked tirelessly with the UP and the owner of the Baldwin to create a complex mutually agreeable trade arrangement that motivated the reluctant owner of the Baldwin to donate the machine to the future Ione museum.

Today, Monday, June 30, the Baldwin was pushed, unceremoniously, by a rubber-tired backhoe from where it had been parked for years to its new temporary location alongside the new depot site.

This was a victory for historical preservation in the City of Ione and for the future tourists which will come visit these two icons. Rail enthusiasts and fans are known to be drawn to railroad oriented attractions as is seen by the success of the State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, Jamestown and across the United States.

My hat is off to the Ione City Manager, the Mayor, the City Council, Jackson Rancheria Casino, and the many volunteers who have indicated their support for rail protection and preservation in Amador County. History, in brief, is an analysis of the past in order that we may understand the present and guide our conduct into the future. If anyone is interested, I highly recommend a 12-minute video of the train depot restoration project located on the City of Ione web site .

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