Living in the Wild West!
Guns were blazing last weekend as Truckee stepped back in time for the town’s annual “Windows on History” celebration.
The event featured two days of Old West reenactments, historical tours, music and memories. Comstock Gold Proprietors out of Reno even set up a gold panning booth outside the train depot.
As locals and tourists alike meandered down Commercial Row under the sun, they popped into shops to view historic photos and stopped to chat with numerous characters outfitted in classic Old-West garb.
“This is really to show the out-of-towners what Truckee is really about,” said “Horrible Hank” as he slung a rifle over his shoulder.
“Everyone who comes out for this is really friendly, especially when you’re carry a gun,” he said with a grin.
Hank is a member of the Truckee Railroad Regulators 601, the town’s own western reenactment group and the highlight of the weekend.
In addition to their colorful costumes, the group entertained crowds throughout the day with staged gunfights in the street.
“We really like to ham it up out here,” said Regulator Marshall Bruce. “It’s all in good fun, nothing too serious. We’re really here to entertain people.”
Accompanying the gunslingers were the “Girls of Jaboom Street.”
“We’re dressed like the old saloon girls who weren’t allowed on Main Street, only Jaboom,” said a woman in black frock who referred to herself as Fifi La Rouge.
Back in the day, Jaboom Street was a notorious not only for “ladies of the night,” but opium dens, muggings and other various crimes.
“That’s why they built the old jail back there,” said regulator and Sierra Sun historical columnist Guy Coates. “There must have been 20 salons on Commercial Row back then. The town was really tailor made for fun.”
According to Coates, the real purpose of “Window on History” is to recreate the old character of the town in order to allow people to relive it.
“We’re trying to preserve the town’s and keep those stories alive by retelling them to younger generations,” he said. “One of the greatest things about Truckee is it’s rich past. Just being in Truckee offers people an escape, from everything – the tragedy in New York, the turmoil in the Middle East. [The town] makes you feel like you’ve stepped back to a different time and place. That’s what we’re trying to show people.”