Memorial Day Flag Ceremony at the Colfax Cemetery

Memorial Day Weekend events in Colfax

There will be a flag ceremony at the Colfax Cemetery on Memorial Day (Monday, May 25) at 10 a.m. Boy Scouts Troop 6 from Meadow Vista will be doing the flag ceremony. Everyone is invited, but we will be social distancing.

The cemetery is located at 180 N. Canyon Way, Colfax, California 95713.

Other events include:

On Friday, May 22, the VFW will be handing out Buddy Poppies at Mar-Val’s Sierra Market.

On Saturday, May 23, the American Legion and the VFW Auxiliary will place their flags on veterans’ graves.

On Monday, May 25, VFW Post 2003 will place flags on Main Street.

March 21 program canceled

The March 21, 2020, program is canceled, because of the spread of the COVID-19/coronavirus.

Following guidelines from both the State of California and Placer County health officials, the CAHS board has decided to cancel the program and reschedule it later when it is safe to do so.

The March issue of the newsletter has an article about the program. The date is now incorrect. The decision to postpone the meeting was made after the issue was mailed.


The Colfax Passenger Depot, Colfax California. The top photo is a historical photo of the building when it was actively used as a passenger depot. The lower photo is the restored depot now, after the efforts of volunteers and the City of Colfax to save the building and restore it. It now houses the Colfax Heritage Museum, the Colfax Area Chamber of Commerce, and a passenger waiting area that is also used for community events and meetings.

Roger Staab will present an intimate look at Colfax’s Southern Pacific Passenger Depot, which opened in 1905 to replace the 1865 Central Pacific Depot.

The Rest of the Story

Join us Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 7 p.m. for Roger’s presentation, which will include then-and-now photos of the history of the passenger depot. We will be meeting in the restored Colfax Passenger Depot, at 99 Railroad St, Colfax, California.

There is no charge. Everyone is welcome. Refreshments will be provided.

We will look at:

  • The new depot’s service to the traveling public until 1971 when AMTRAK took over passenger rail service.
  • The depot’s conversion to office space for railroad maintenance of way personnel.
  • A promised resurrection and new life in the mid-1990’s to serve Capitol Corridor trains only to be followed by disappointment and a change of plans.
  • And ultimately the determination of the City of Colfax and a team of dedicated volunteers to bring the building to its present status as local history museum, visitor center and passenger waiting area.

Along the way we will witness the only time the depot was moved (temporarily) from its original location. We hope you will join us for “the rest of the story” about Colfax’s Southern Pacific Passenger Depot.

NOTE: we have changed the date from March 14 to March 21, because there will be two fundraising dinners in Colfax the night of March 14 (the Colfax Green Machine’s Annual Crab Feed and the VFW Auxiliary St. Patrick’s Dinner). So, we are moving our program to March 21.

CAHS fall schedule changes

Oct. 17 and Nov. 16 CAHS meetings cancelled

The Colfax Area Historical Society (CAHS) board has decided to cancel the remaining CAHS meetings for 2019.

  • There will be no board meeting on Thursday, October 17, at 10 a.m.
  • There will be no general fall meeting with a speaker on Saturday, November 16, at 7 p.m.

The next board meeting will be in February 2020 and the next general member meeting with a speaker will be in March 2020. When the 2020 calendar is ready, the specific dates will be posted on Facebook and the CAHS web site.

If any need or problem occurs before then, the board will convene to handle it.

Oct. 20 special presentation, Sunday afternoon

We invite you to meet with other members of the community for a special book talk and presentation on Sunday afternoon, October 20, from 2–3:30 p.m. in the city council chambers in Colfax City Hall (33 South Main St, Colfax, CA 95713).

This is a special program that was organized by Marnie Mendoza, Colfax Mayor Pro Tem.

The speaker will be Robert B. Wells, author of Voices from the Bottom of the South China Sea: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Chinese Emigrant Disaster. See the Cobblestones article on page 7 for more information.

October issue of Cobblestones newsletter

In 1915, the Freight Depot was in the path of a track realignment and had to be moved–again.

The October issue of the Colfax Cobblestones newsletter was mailed today. All members of the Colfax Area Historical Society will receive a copy in the next few days.

This issue includes a five-page article by Roger Staab: “Colfax’s Much-Travled Freight Depot,” a history of the freight depot that is currently located on North Main Street in Colfax, California, across from downtown businesses. His article includes five historical photos from 1866, 1881, circa 1904, 1907, and 1915.

The entire issue can also be read online or downloaded as a PDF.

Please note that the October issue of the Colfax Cobblestones newsletter will be the final issue of 2019.

An Opportunity to Be Part of Iowa Hill History

Iowa Hill Community Cemetery, Iowa Hill, California

The Iowa Hill Community Cemetery, Inc. has an opening for the position of treasurer

By Robin Yonash

Would you like to make a big impact with a minimal time investment? Then the six other members of the Iowa Hill Community Cemetery Board of Directors invite you to join them as the Treasurer. This position requires only about five (5) hours a year and filling it will make an immense difference to the operation of the Cemetery.

Duties include attending two Board meetings a year (transportation from Colfax to Iowa Hill is available if needed) and presenting a Treasurer’s Report, plus filing simple reports annually with four Government entities. (Our taxes can be done with just two electronic postcards!) These activities occur between May and October.

Computer literacy, including basic Excel skills, and Internet access are essential. Residency in Iowa Hill is not necessary, although a connection to the community is of interest.

If you want to explore this opportunity, please contact our President, Tom McClure, at 916-616-9649 or email him at

The Iowa Hill Community Cemetery is a 501(c)(13) charitable corporation. For more information on the historic Iowa Hill Community Cemetery, visit our web site at


Robin Yonash, Secretary to the Board of the Iowa Hill Cemetery, is the author of three books on the history of Iowa Hill: Schools of the Iowa Hill Divide, Towns and People of the Iowa Hill Divide, and Gold and Fire: A History of the Iowa Hill Divide. Signed copies are available for purchase at the Colfax Heritage Museum (proceeds benefit the Colfax Area Historical Society); unsigned copies can be purchased on Amazon.

Reminder: no program on Sept 14 — Join us on Oct 20 instead

Remember, there is no program tonight, September 14.

Instead, the Colfax Area Historical Society will be attending a special book talk and presentation on Sunday afternoon, October 20, with other members of the community in the city council chambers in Colfax City Hall (33 South Main St, Colfax, CA 95713).

This is a special program that was organized by Marnie Mendoza, Colfax Mayor Pro Tem.

See for more details. You can also read more about the book and its author on his web site,

Our next program will be on October 20 instead of September 14

Our scheduled September 14, 2019, meeting and program is being moved to October 20, 2019, because we’re going to join with a larger community-wide audience for a special presentation and book talk by Robert B. Wells, author of the book Voices from the Bottom of the South China Sea: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Chinese Emigrant Disaster.

Wells will tell the story about some of the Chinese emigrants who crossed the Pacific Ocean from 1867-1875, arriving in San Francisco and Colfax, California, to build the railroads and mine for gold. The return of one group to Hong Kong by ship in 1874 ended tragically in a midnight fire and shipwreck in the South China Sea, just hours away from rejoining their families in China. His book tells their story.

This special presentation will be on Sunday afternoon, October 20, 2019, from 2–3:30 p.m. Because a large audience is expected, his talk will be held in the Colfax City Hall Council Chambers, at 33 South Main Street, Colfax, CA 95713.

More details will follow soon.