Model Railroad Fun

The life of MAGNOLIA



Spanish gold seekers first came into the area in the early 1800's. Over a half century later another party of gold seekers led by the mountain man Zebadiah Ortega stumbled across one of these old Spanish diggings. Zebadiah, recovering from a respectable drunk the night before, tripped over a large boulder and fell head long into a pile of rich ore. He later remarked that the boulder was the keystone to his riches.


The famous gold mine that Zebadiah discovered became known as the Keystone Mine and by 1869 the town of Magnolia came into being. Zebadiah Ortega is considered the town's founder even though he lost the mine a year later in a poker game. As town founder he is honored by a statue in a small park by the railroad yards, a reminder of the wild early days of Magnolia.



The town of Magnolia is still doing well today, due in part to the fruit industry. In 1903 Francis Duggan settled in the flats west of town and started growing apples and peaches. The soil and weather were well suited for this enterprise and soon fruit from Magnolia's orchards was being shipped by the rails alongside the gold ore from the Keystone Mine. In the modern 1950's the mines have all but shut down, the Keystone being the only producer on a limited scale.

The real gold from Magnolia being shipped today is the famous Keystone Red Apple, a variety in high demand throughout the intermountain west. Modern Magnolia caters to the outdoorsman and summer visitor. Mountain cabins offer a big city getaway for a quiet retreat, and the abundant trout streams and lakes lure the avid fisherman to try his skill at catching that elusive big one. With its modern movie theater, fine cafe, hotel, and the famous Antlers Bar, where the notorious gunslinger Shakey Irons Harden had his last stand, Magnolia offers the best of the West. Magnolia is easily reached by the Union Pacific and Santa Fe Railroad providing a not so remote vacation spot.


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