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Canyon Roads Along The South Fork of the American River

Frémont traveled this region between February 23rd and 26th of 1844. Between 1852 and today, this has been an area of many roads and routes. This page is the start of a posting of photographs and information on these roads.

Near Kyburz, on February 25, 1844, in the heart of the yellow pine belt, Frémont collected a specimen of Librocedrus decurrens (incense cedar) which made it back to Dr. Torry and survives in the collections of the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Most botanical specimens collected in this area were lost when a mule fell off the trail into the canyon near Rock Creek a few days later.
go Frémont's 1844 botanical collections from this area.

goMAP of the South Fork of the American River from Pacific House to Georgetown Junction.

The links below contain a few photos.
I plan to add additional information, maps, and photographs.

go The 1855 Marlette survey by Sherman day and George H. Goddard.

goThe Ogilby (Olesby) Grade Toll Road (1860-64) above Whitehall on the south side of the canyon.

goThe 1860 Ogilby (Oglesby) Grade Toll Road between Fry Creek and Silver Fork on the north side of the canyon.
First pavement remains from period when this was part of highway 50.

goA trail between the Ogilby (Oglesby) Grade Toll Road and the Counties Road (1858) along Fry Creek.

goBrockliss Bridge and Fountain House.

goSalt springs near Alder Creek.

go Help solicited--What road is this?

go US50 near St. Pauli Inn.

Pictured is one of the original granite milestones placed at the turn of the century along the highway 50 between Placerville and Lake Tahoe. I have fished along this stretch for more than 60 years--as have 4 generations (nearly 5 generations!) of my family.

Read Thomas Frederick Howard's SIERRA CROSSING: FIRST ROADS TO CALIFORNIA (University of California Press); the first book to deal comprehensively with the crossing of the Sierra Nevada from trails to highways.
Click the image to go to amazon.com.
There is a photograph of Tom Howard at Carson Pass on the news page.

eMail comments, information, or questions.

©1999, 2007
Bob Graham