East Sierra Valley
Chamber of Commerce
The Milton Gottardi Loyalton Museum

Welcome!

Location

605 School Street Loyalton, right off highway 49 behind the pharmacy.

Hours

Closed Winter, open by appointment only during winter, contact Jackie Mitchell 530-993-4012.
Will open for the summer after Memorial Day weekend May 29th 2017.

Volunteer

With budget restraints, the Milton Gottardi Museum is run by local volunteers. If interested in being a volunteer please call Jackie Mitchell 530-993-4012 or City Hall at 993-6750.
Throughout many generations of Sierra County and Sierra Valley, the families have passed on generations of history to our museum. The museum features displays on logging, agriculture, railroading, Washoe Indians and fraternal organizations. You can also see an old school house, logging and old farm equipment, wagons, a donkey engine, ranching artifacts located in our City Park located off A-24, just a two minute drive from down town.
The Museum contains numerous artifacts, mostly from the Sierra Valley area (eastern part of Sierra County), plus historical photos, documents and books. The museum does have some genealogical information.
…photos compliments of the Sierra Booster Newspaper. First photo: Elda Fae Ball.. now retired.
A collection of portraits and family memorabilia.
The International Order of Odd Fellows’ three story brick building in Loyalton was built around the turn of the 20th century. This building, along with the grocery store in Sierraville, are two of the few remaining buildings constructed of Sierra Valley brick. The picture above shows a Soda Fountain use in the Brick Store when is was known as the Huntly Store in 1911. The Brick Store may be seen on Main Street, downtown Loyalton.
The hearse that was used throughout the Valley.
Note the hearse in the picture of the funeral.

RailRoads

Loyalton Boca Railroad TrainUsed in city seal.
The first railroad into the area was the Sierra Valleys Railroad. In 1885, the California Land and Timber Company began the Sierra Valley to Mohawk railroad, mainly for delivering goods to and from Reno. This operation came to a halt due to financial reasons. In 1894, Henry Bowen bought the railroad and land, along with Kerby Mill (on Grizzly Creek). Two other nearby railroads, at that time, were already completed and in operation. The Boca and Loyalton, which ran from Boca, near Truckee, to Loyalton. and the NC&O (Nevada, California, and Oregon), which ran north-south along Long Valley and Highway 395 from Oregon to Reno. Bowen sought to link Portola and Sierra Valley to the NC&O and the Boca and Loyalton. Finally. in 1903, the Sierra Valleys Railroad was completed between Hallelujah Junction and Clio. The railroad tracks ran on the north side of the Buttes in Sierra Valley, north of Highway 70 and the Feather River today, through Beckwourth and Portola, with a depot where the Gold Rush Sporting Goods Store is today, continuing westward past Delleker, Clairville, and Clio. The Sierra Valleys Railroad quit running by 1911, due to financial problems. However, by then, the Western Pacific had been completed on the south side of the Feather River, and it became the main railway through the region. In 1910,the area was served by three railroads: the Boca and Loyalton (B&L), the Nevada, California, and Oregon (NC&O), and the Western Pacific.
After the gold rush died Sierra County’s population slowly dwindled to its present 3,300. Other businesses did remain, especially logging and the railroad, and agricultural businesses such as cattle, haying, and cheese making. Today many ranchers remain working the land. But, cheeseparing is a lost art, and logging restrictions have hampered the logging industry and resulted in closed mills. Most of the local rail tracks that once bellowed with steel wheels are no more.
Native American Artifacts