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What road is this?
answer below

About 1947, I was with my father and mother in the old Ford pickup going to the Blair Brothers Mill to get some lumber for an addition that my father was making to my grandfathers cabin at Whitehall. We stopped along the way, and got out and walked onto an old road. Below was the torrent of the American River. My mother was very nervous that I was too near the edge.
I remembered the day, but did not remember where it was. Fifteen years ago, I walked out here, and recognized the place after 40 years!

It is the lowest of a number of approaches to the Brockliss Bridge site. Is it one of the many alignment adjustments of the Johnson's (1853) and Counties Roads (1858), or is it the road that Oglesby started to build in 1864, after abandoning the Oglesby Grade Toll Road on the South side of the canyon?

This photo (telephoto lens) is from Highway 50, looking across the canyon of the South Fork of the American from near Bridal Veil Falls.

This view is looking up stream from the Brockliss Bridge.

Here it is on an aerial photo.

And, on April 11, 2002, came this emailed response to my query:

Bob,
The road you describe is probably the Doan Road or Cut-off, a short Toll Road built some time after June 1860, when a notice appeared in the paper announcing the formation of the toll road company to build it.
It shows up on the 1870's GLO maps of the area (Mtn Demo, 6-16-60, and GLO, 1873).
Rick Donaldson, Spokane, WA
P.S. I spent a lot of my past summers in the Strawberry area on Hwy 5
0

Thanks Rick!

And, on May 16, 2003:

Bob,
The road you have identified on you webpage as "What Road is this?" on the north side of the river is the 1860s Doan Road (a cut-off segment to the "New" County Road contracted by the county to be built, along with the new Brockliss Bridge (bonds issued in 1858 for the Bridge). Brockliss Grade was the road going down from Pacific House to the old Brockliss Bridge site, but it zigzagged up the ridgeline, past White Meadows, and on to the top of Telephone Ridge, where it intersected the Johnson's Cutoff.

The road on the north side of the river running southerly to the Brockliss / Blair Bridge site (the one you can drive now is a road constructed by the Blairs in 1927 to move lumber from their mill just north of White Meadows Road--this is when the Blair Bridge was built, as well.

Krista Deal
Pacific District Archaeologist
Eldorado National Forest


more old roads

©1999, 2007
Bob Graham