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Divisions of Boating and Waterways, Historic Preservation and Off-Highway Vehicles

News Release

For Immediate Release: 4/17/2015

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Railtown 1897 Offers Opportunity to Meet Author of The Seamstress of Jamestown on April 25


Kim Baker

Railtown 1897 SHP



Cheryl Meyer

California State Railroad Museum Foundation



Jamestown, CA – California State Parks and Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (SHP) are proud to offer special meet-and-greet opportunities with Barbara Hettwer, author of The Seamstress of Jamestown on Saturday, April 25, 2015, a day when steam train rides behind Sierra No.3 are also available. Hettwer will be at the Park from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to talk with visitors and sign copies of her novel that was set in historic Jamestown in the late 1800s. A work of fiction that is immersed in history, The Seamstress of Jamestown will also be available for purchase at the on-site store.

Published in 2014, the protagonist in the novel is a seamstress named Emma Randall – who is mentioned briefly in the history of Jamestown -- with accurate names, places, and historical events but with entertaining fictional details and story lines weaved in. The story is that of life in a typical gold-mining town in 1880, but Emma is an exceptional character facing the challenges of everyday life with determination and courage.

A fourth generation Californian and retired high school teacher, author Hettwer grew up in Southern California where she attended Catholic schools in the days when the nuns had everything in the huge pockets of their habits including scissors, glue, and smelling salts. The Seamstress of Jamestown is Barbara’s first book that draws upon her own experiences and interest in history.

Also happening that Saturday, visitors to Railtown 1897 SHP can enjoy a memorable 45-minute round-trip steam-powered excursion train ride behind Sierra No. 3 (the “Movie Star Locomotive”) at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.  All train ride tickets include Park admission and are available online or in person on a first-come, first-served basis at the ticket window beginning at 10 a.m.  Train ride tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for youths ages 6-17, and kids five and under are free. Admission only costs to Railtown 1897 SHP are as follows: $5 for adults, $3 for youths ages 6-17 and free for children five and under. For more information, call 209-984-3953 or visit

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California State Parks Mission

To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.