Ione Railroad Depot, Wood Siding, Yellow Paint

ISO100, 35mm, f/10, 0.6 sec
Ione, CA

Cracked, peeling, but not really faded yellow paint on the wood siding and batten of the 137-year old Ione Railroad Depot in Amador County highlighted by the setting sun.

(Click through the image to see lead-based paint in 700px)

The train depot was completed in January 1877 and served both freight and passengers.  Students in nearby towns further up the foothills used the rail service to reach the adjacent Ione Academy, later named the Ione High School, the only high school in the area until 1911.

The 27.2 miles of rail lines from Galt to Ione the train depot serviced were built in 1875 by the “Big Four” of the Central Pacific railroad – C.P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins, and Leland Stanford.  The motivation was access to lignite (a coal substitute to fuel steam locomotives) and gravel ballast (base for rail lines).  And those Big Four names should sound familiar, besides being founders of the Central Pacific Railroad which built the western side of the transcontinental railroad completed in 1869, they were all titans of industry in the 1800’s:

  • C.P. Huntington – credited in founding the Newport News Shipbuilding, his heir and nephew built the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA
  • Charles Crocker – one-time president of Wells Fargo, founder of Crocker Bank (purchased by Wells Fargo years after his death), brother created the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento in 1885
  • Mark Hopkins – opened a grocery store in Sacramento, and then a hardware and iron business in Sacramento with C.P. Huntington.  His mansion on top of Nob Hill in San Francisco burned down in the 1906 earthquake and were replaced by the Mark Hopkins Hotel in 1926.
  • Leland Stanford – keeper of the family store in Placer County, governor of California, director of Wells Fargo, commissioned photographer Eadweard Muybridge to study the gait of horses at his Palo Alto Stock Farm, the stock farm eventually was developed into Stanford University.

Recent photographs taken in Amador County:

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, spot metering mode, 35mm, ISO 100, 0.6 sec, f/10

Ione Railroad Depot, Wood Siding, Yellow Paint.  Ione, California.  January 06, 2013. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


3 thoughts on “Ione Railroad Depot, Wood Siding, Yellow Paint

    1. Thank you Diana. If it wasn’t for the very straight batten gap towards the left (and the title of the photo, of course), it would be very hard to think it wasn’t a tree. I should go back and attempt some macro-like shots (without the use of a macro lens) before the plans to move and rehabilitate the structure begin in the near future. Part of that effort will include scraping off the remaining paint and apply a fresh coat.


  1. The Ione depot has already been moved in an effort to protect and preserve this nearly 140 year old railroad structure. It will be some time before it is re-painted. It now sits on Ione City property about 1000 yards east of it’s former location.
    Larry Bowler,


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