Saturday, November 25, 2023

Sierra No. 3-The Movie Star Locomotive by Zina Abbott


Although built to transport agricultural products from the valley to the foothills, and lumber and mining ore from the mountains to the connecting rail lines in California’s Central Valley, the Sierra Railway line is probably best known for being featured in multiple Western movies and television shows.

The Sierra Railroad was a Hollywood favorite location for almost eighty years, beginning in 1919. From big-budget Westerns to television commercials, Sierra’s trains have been featured in over two hundred productions.

Among the dozens of motion pictures filmed on this line were The Virginian in 1929, 

Gary Cooper in High Noon

High Noon in 1952, for which Gary Cooper won the Academy Award for Best Actor, Bound for Glory in 1976, Back to the Future III in 1990, and 

Clint Eastwood

Unforgiven, starring and directed by Clint Eastwood, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1992.

Television series include “Gunsmoke,” “Petticoat Junction,” “Bonanza,” and “Little House on the Prairie.” Also known at the “three-spot,” possibly its best-known role was as the “Hooterville Cannonball” in the 1960s television series, “Petticoat Junction.”

Although several Sierra locomotives have been used in films over the years, it is No. 3 that became the big star. It has appeared in more pictures than any other engine in the world.

Its design allowed it to be easily adapted to various eras through swapping out smokestacks and headlights. 

Back to the Future III stack

Also, changes in paint design and lettering was used. Although converted from a wood-burning steam engine to an oil-burning engine, often the oil tanker was covered by a wood pile to help it appear from an older, wood-burning steam engine.

No. 3 was built in 1891 and purchased by the Sierra in 1897. No. 3 is a 4-6-0 Ten-Wheeler steam locomotive built by the Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey. Construction of the locomotive was completed on March 26, 1891, and was given Rogers construction number 4493. 

It was built for the Prescott & Arizona Central Railway (P&AC) as their locomotive #3 and named W.N. Kelley after the company's treasurer.

The P&AC went bankrupt in 1893 and its chief promoter, Thomas S. Bullock, relocated much of its equipment and hardware to California, including the No. 3. He then entered into a partnership with Prince André Poniatowski and William H. Crocker. In 1897 they incorporated the Sierra Railway Company of California to connect Oakdale, California with the mining and timber producing regions of Tuolumne County and Calaveras County. (See my earlier post by CLICKING HERE.)

The locomotive became Sierra No. 3 (dropping the W. N. Kelley name) and played a key role in the construction of the railroad to Jamestown, California in 1897, Sonora, California in 1899 and the city of Tuolumne, California in 1900. It was the primary locomotive pulling freight trains on the railroad until 1906. The Sierra No. 3 made her first known Hollywood film appearance, in a silent film, The Terror, starring Tom Mix in 1921.


Because in 1886, the Sierra Railway was three years away from arriving in Sonora, the characters in my latest release, A Watchman for Willow, still arrived by stagecoach. To find the book description and purchase options, please CLICK HERE







Railtown 1897 State Historic Park

Monday, November 20, 2023

Happy November!!!

  It's National Novel Writing Month!

Every year I attempt to get a novel finished for NaNoWriMo and every year I fail.  So far this time it's off to a great start. I'm working on Rimorck Book 3 and it's coming along nicely. I can't imagine how many rewrites I'll be doing after it's finished but I'm making progress.

Cowboy Kisses gets to see the cover first!

If you've read Promise of Spring, (Rimrock Book 2) I introduce Clu and Aleena in that book. I always planned a story for them but was struggling. Now it has taken off and taken them in a direction I wasn't expecting.  Their adventure begins in Rimrock and a family tragedy sends them to Saint Louis. Clu's father death was no accident and his brother's life is in danger. Orphan Aleena will do whatever she has to do to help save the family she wants to be a part of.

In this book readers that read Promise of Tomorrow, (Rimrock Book 1) will find out what happened to Anya after she was kidnapped along with Shyfawn. Anya will have her own story as well. I have several Rimrock Spinoffs planned. Ha! I'd get more done if my brain focused on one thing at a time.

I hope anyone else participating in NaNoWriMo is getting lots done!

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!

Thursday, November 16, 2023

The Peacemaker


 The Peacemaker Colt Revolver, also known as the Colt Single Action Army (SAA) holds a distinguished place in the annals of firearms history. Introduced in 1873, this iconic revolver quickly earned its nickname "Peacemaker" for its role in the American West and became synonymous with the frontier era. Designed by the legendary Samuel Colt, the Peacemaker was a six-shot, single-action revolver that played a pivotal role in the settling of the Wild West.

The Colt Peacemaker gained widespread popularity for its reliability, simplicity and firepower. Its design incorporated several innovative features, such as the loading gate on the right side of the frame, allowing easy access to the cylinder for reloading. The revolver was chambered in various calibers, with the .45 Colt being the most well-known. It became the side arm of choice for many notable figures of the time, including lawmen, outlaws, and military personnel. The Colt SAA's impact extended beyond its utilitarian function; its sleek design and reputation as a symbol of the frontier contributed to its legendary status, making it one of the most recognizable and coveted firearms in history. Even today, the Colt Peacemaker remains a symbol of the Old West, admired for its historical significance and craftsmanship. 


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

What do cowboys want for Christmas? by Rhonda Lee Carver


What do cowboys want? That's a question that is asked a lot in my books. The staples are easy. A sturdy hat to block out the sun. Cowhide gloves. A work jacket that can handle the rough wear and tear of ranch life. Monogrammed belt buckles. Engraved horseshoes. Etched whiskey glasses...I could go on.

But what if you want to make a lasting impression on a cowboy?

Do they want a personalized calendar of the lady in their life? Sexy pictures? 


Sleep under the stars with him. Learn how to wrangle like a real cowgirl (unless you're already one). 

What would you do to impress a cowboy?

“I have to say, I sort of miss the truck bed days. Some of my fondest memories include Strawberry wine, the stars, and you.”
“What are we doing, Rip?” she whispered.
“Following fate’s lead?” He cocked a thick brow.
“I can’t do this.” She backed up a step. Needing to put some space between them before she did something very stupid, and very good.
“Can’t or won’t?” The husky tinge to his voice made her inner thighs tremble with yearning.

Rip Ryder’s Second Chance is a novel of high school sweethearts who reunite to rekindle a rare passion and confront the past.

As teens, Noelle Evelyn and Rip Ryder fell deeply in love. Their passion seemed to defy the odds of disapproving parents, youth and unforeseen obstacles…until high school graduation rolled around. One drunken night changed the future.

Years later, Noelle returns to Second Chance after the death of a friend only to face the lingering ghosts of her past. The memory of Rip has haunted her every day since they broke up. Her life might have moved forward, she’s now a single mom of a toddler, but her heart stays frozen in a time when love was all that mattered.

Noelle has carried a secret to protect others that will unravel. Will the demons of the past draw them together, or rip them apart again? Will an endless love endure the pain? Rip was willing to do anything to protect the only love he’d ever known, but can he save her?

Rip Ryder's Second Chance is the last installment of the series. This book will have you cheering for Noelle and Rip as they face demons from their past, and a secret that has lingered too long.

Rhonda always likes to connect with her readers.










Street Team:


Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Rankin Scott Kelly - First Sheriff

 Post by Doris McCraw

aka Angela Raines

Before I share the story of Kelly, I want to thank everyone for a great 'book' party. It was great fun and kudos to Julie for overseeing such a wonderful event. 

Now on to the story of Rankin Scott Kelly. I've shared his remarkable story in other places, but it is worth revisiting.

Image from Find a Grave

In El Paso County, Colorado, Rankin Scott Kelly, was the first sheriff taking his job in 1861 and served until 1867. El Paso County was one of the original 17 counties formed when Colorado became a territory in 1861 from parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, and New Mexico Territories.

Imagine if you will, one Sheriff having to enforce the law in an area around two thousand square miles. He did and was well-liked by those who were lawful and feared by those who were lawless.

Rankin Scott Kelly, First Sheriff of El... - Territorial Daughters of  Colorado | Facebook
R. S. Kelly

A lot of his early life is unknown. This may be due in part to the belief he'd killed his sister's fiance' at the age of fourteen. He fled from Holton, Maine, and headed west. He really doesn't show up in census records in those early years.   

You can learn more from two sources. One is the biography, Amazon link for the book, written by former El Paso County Sheriff, John Anderson, and the video linked here: "The Sheriff.

Until Next Time: Stay safe, Stay happy, and Stay healthy.