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Windows on History celebrated

Amanda Butler, Sierra Sun

Windows on History, a light-hearted look at Truckee’s historical legacy, gave visitors and residents alike a glimpse into the ways of the wild west this past weekend.

The Truckee-Donner Chamber of Commerce’s annual two-day event came complete with gunslingers, saloon girls, downtown tours, gold panning demonstrations and historical lectures.

Truckee’s Railroad Regulators combined with the Virginia City Gunslingers and Saloon Girls as well as Auburn’s Bad Company to reenact some historical and some not-so historical moments in local lore.

On Saturday, crowds watched as an argument between well-known madam Miss Kitty and a town marshal led to a serious shoot-out.

“This is a show I wrote,” said R.T. Carlyle, a member of the Virginia City Gunslingers. “Some skits we try to make as authentic as possible, but history – well, it can be a little boring – so we use some literary license to entertain the crowd.”

Lacey Faith, an employee of the Ponderosa Deli, was driving to work when she heard gunshots coming from the train depot.

“At first I was worried,” said Faith. “But I saw the costumes and figured it out … it looked pretty entertaining.”

Caressa Brannon, an employee of Earthly Delights, said she had to explain what was going on to startled customers all day.

“We had a woman walk in wearing a corset and fishnet stockings and people just kept staring at her,” said Brannon. “But the gunshots was what really snuck up on you, even if you were expecting them.”

The first gun blasts actually ended up setting off a security alarm at the Jewelry Station, a shop located inside the train depot, but even the alarm did not seem to detract crowds from taking part in the western show.

The show’s organizers thought the program had accomplished its goal.

“Windows on History is great because it brings a lot of people into town on what is usually a slow weekend,” said Rachelle Pellissier. “It’s also a great (public relations) tool to let people know what Truckee is about.”

Event Coordinator Corrin Keck was happy with the turnout and said the amount of people who attended the festivities had increased significantly from last year.

“The attendance at this year’s individual activities was double or triple the attendance recorded last year,” said Keck.

“I heard a lot of comments from people who thought that the (event) was very informative, but entertaining and well-organized,” said Keck.

Downtown shops enjoyed the extra business the event brought to town. “I noticed a lot more people in the store,” said Jerry Wood, owner of the White Buffalo, a store located on Commercial Row. “It was great … in the past I would only see a couple of people taking the (downtown) tours, but there seemed to be at least a dozen in each group, this year.”


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