ROADS/TRAILS of Mariposa
Daily Republican, December, 8
Mr. Asbrook Has Something to Say on
At this time there is a strong
interest felt in this community in the construction of a road between
this place and the town of Mariposa. To further the enterprise as
much as possible, the undersigned has consented to act as viewer, and
as the citizens are divided in opinion as to which of two proposed
routes the available county funds ought to be expended, both routes
were traveled by my associate, Mr. Foster, and myself. Notes were
carefully taken, and upon comparison we differed in conclusions
My co-laborer thinks the expenditures ought to be put upon the eastern
or Martin route, while I think it ought to be put upon the western or
Oakdale route; hence these lines to explain some things that could not
well be embodied in a report to the supervisors of Fresno county.
The difference in cost of
constructing the one road and bridge is slight, as is also the
difference in the length of the proposed routes so that benefits
ought to control.
Mr. Foster says that if the eastern
road is built it will open up a new and valuable country to settlement
and development, all of which is and will be tributary to
Raymond. In also affords a way for the fruit men to reach the
railroad, and be the means of diverting more travel to this county than
the other route. That Mariposa will make connections of the road to her
county seat, however much she (unreadable) disinclined so to do
now. I reply, your population on the eastern line is mostly
prospective. The county has to be made populous while the western
route is already peopled. We ought to make roads to meet present
needs more than for prospective ones.
The travel that would come to this
county by the eastern route would certainly be caught by the western
one. If this county should make a road over the Martin way I have
grave doubts about the willingness or ability of Mariposa to make the
other end. In that event we would be at the end of traveling
ground at the county line, with a barrier between us and the town of
As the Mariposa people are favorable
to the western route, it is our interest not to antagonize that feeling
when we even gain travel by being fraternal-
Mr. F. Ashbrook, Raymond
transcribed by c feroben
From the Mariposa Gazette, 1894 , no specific date.
"A walk down Bullion Street last
Wednesday was enough to impress upon even the most careless
observer the fact that work on our streets is absolutely
necessary. Fromm Eight to Ninth Streets, or to make it
intelligible, from Judge Jones' residence to Farnsworth's corner, the
sidewalk was covered to a depth of about four inches, with a deposite
of sand of the constistency of thin mush, and very wet mush at
that. It would have been much deeper had not bedrock cropped up
so close to the surface that the sand could not go further down.
A dozen wagon loads of gravel from the creek, put on that part of
the street, would dispose of the mud question and isure a clean, dry
sidealk..Pride in our town should be one stong incentive to keep our
streets neat and fit to travel over, and the comfort of being able to
walk downtown without having one's clothing thoroughly saturated with
slime should be another motive. If someone who has the
right to manage the work will please take hint, and, before the big
Christmas rains come, have a thick coating of gravel laid over the
sidewalk, his name shall ever be called blessed."
"The Mariposa Post Office, always
one of the most attractive places in town is undergoing a thorough
renovating and house-cleaning. A skylight has been let into the
roof, making the rooms light even on the darkest days; the walls and
ceilings have been freshly calsomined, and the woodwork newly painted.
As for the other adjuncts of the office, well, they are perfect."
San Francisco Call, Volume 77, Number 150, 9 May 1895 —
If Mariposa County would
expend enough money to put her roads in good condition, bridge the
streams and make whatever improvements the public interests demand the
value of proverty would be increased and new enterprises would be
created, so that the rate of taxation would be less than it has been in
years. It is a mistaken policy to retard development in order to keep
down expenses. Prosperity is not won that way.
CATHEY VALLEY ROUTE
Merced Express, January 25, 1913
Suggest Cathey Valley Route.
Charles I. Mosteller and J. F. Lambert, members of a committee appointed by the Planada Chamber of Commerce to advocate the selection of the Cathey Valley route for the branch of the State Highway from Merced to Mariposa, were in town Tuesday. They point out that the Cathey Valley route is much shorter and far better than the proposed route by way of Merced Falls and Hornitos and will be of greater benefit to Merced and Mariposa. It has been suggested that the Chambers of Commerce of Merced, Planada and Mariposa hold a joint meeting to consider the matter and recommend a route to the Highway Commission. submitted by Tom Hilk
SHINGLE HILL GRADE EASED
Fresno Bee, Monday October 13, 1930
MARIPOSA (Mariposa Co) Oct 13- Supervisor C I Mentzer and a crew of men, recently completed the new grade down Shingle Hill between the Dudley ranch and Bower Cave.
This grade was started two or three years ago but was not completed on account of insufficient funds.
This year Mentzer had funds set aside in the budget for this road and with the financial support of the Stanislaus National Forest officials, completed a 6 1/2 per cent grade of 1 1/2 miles to take the place of the dangerous road that has not been in use since the fifities and which, in some places, reached as high as a 20 per cent grade.
SHORTER ROUTE PROPOSED FOR YOSEMITE ROAD
Fresno Bee, October 22, 1930
MERCED (Merced CO) Oct 22- Highway engineers , roadside resort owners, Chamber of Commerce representatives and officals of Merced and Mariposa Counties were present at a hearing here yesterday afternoon on the proposed relocation of fourteen miles of the Merced-Yosemte All-Year Highway.
M. B. Harris of Fresno, chairman, and George Mansfield, secretary of the California State Highway Commission, announced after the meting that poins discussed at the hearing would be considered an dfinaly highway plans announced later.
Edward Wallace, division highway engineer, explained the new routing between Orange Hill school house in the lower Cathey Valley and Mariposa.
Instead of the present route to the right of guadalupe Mountain, passing through Bridgeport at Agua Fria Creek, the road would run northward toward Mt. Bullion, swing to the right through the old locations of Agua Fria and Carson and follow through Arkansas Flat and over Carson pass in to Mariposa.
THe new route would be 1.9 (hard to read) mles shorter than the present road and would eliminate much curvature and grade. It would touch an elevation of 2,400 feet, about 500 feet higher than the present road.
The improvement wouldl cost $700,000, which , according to Wallace, would be $10,000 less than the cost of improving the present road. Several resort owners along the present higheay protested against the proposed relocation. c feroben
Bee Republican, Sunday March 12, 1933
Admit Theft of Gasoline, Pay $500 Fine Each-
(Mariposa Co.) March 31- Chester C Verley of Mt. Bullion and Allen
Kneckteh of Bear Creek pleaded quietly before Justice Jay T Norman of
Cathey Valley to stealing fifty gallons of gasoline from Charles
Harlowe, contractor on the Carson Cutoff between Cathey Valley and
Mariposa. They paid fines of $500 each.
PETITION SEEKS SHORTER ROAD TO MINING AREA
Fresno Bee , November 25, 1934
Mariposa (Mariposa CO) Nove 24- A petition addressed to the Mariposa
County Board of Supervisors is being circulated seeking the
construction of a road from Mariposa to the Colorado-Sherlock mining
district, fifteen miles north-east of here, reducing the traveling
distance approximately four miles and traveling time by more than a
C. A. APPERSON, who is circulating the petition, says the new road
would be two miles in length. He declared it is understood
the United States Postoffice Deparment would establish a postal route
from Mariposa through the Colorado-Sherlock district if the road should
be built. The presend roads are impassable during the winter
RANCHERS ASSAIL MARIPOSA COUNTY ROAD
Fresno Bee, August 25, 1946
Mariposa (Mariposa Co) Aug. 24-
Cattlemen and lumbermen of the Miami district in Mariposa COunty today
are up in arms because a culvert assertedly has been removed from the
Miami Creek crossing on the old stage road to Wawona via Miami.
They say this deprives them of their regular means of access to the
location of their habitations and activities in the mountains.
The dispute started last Spring when
the Oakland branch of the Girl Scouts of America purchased the
Miami Lodge. In June representatives of the organization started
a movement to have the road, a county thoroughfare used by the
cattlemen and lumbermen for more than 70 years., closed to insure
privacy for the projected establishment.
PETITION IS DENIED
A hearing was held here before the
Mariposa County Board of Supervisors on July 5th, with 40 interested
persons registering a vigorous protest. Only Supervisor Sam Milton and
a representative of the Girl Scouts favored the closing.
The supervisors denied the petition
to close the road and the Girl Scout representative at that time
accepted the decision declaring, "we did not know the situation."
Early this month, A C Shaw. Jr., of
Raymond and Merced, while riding line on the Miami Range, said he
noticed another road was being built paralleling the old state road. He
"I went at once to the Scouts'
supervisor in charge at Miami Creek. She insisted the Girl Scouts
were not going to tolerate a public road that ran through the end of
their property where it was their intention at some future date to
build their camp and cabins. She declared the new road was being
built with the county equipment."
UNWILLING TO TALK
Shaw said the next day Charles Brous
of Fresno and Charles Higgins of Merced and Raymond, the former
representing the SUmmer residents and the latter, the agricultural and
lumber interests of the area, called on Milton at his home. Shaw
asserted Milton at first refused to talk to them, declaring it was
Sunday and his day off.
Higgins, however, insisted, and
"What kind of road are you building
on Miami Creek? What is it and what do you intend to do with it?"
"Well," Milton is said to have
replied, "if you insist on knowing, the Girl Scouts have paid $5,000
cash ahead of time to build that road. You are going to use it
instead of the old road and like it."
FRESNAN CRITICIZES ROAD
"I may have to use it," rejoined
Brous, "certainly I will have to if you take the culvert out of Miami
Creek; but I won't like it, not unless it is very different from the
way it is now. I presume this new one is a Mariposa County road
with a Mariposa County right of way?"
"Mariposa County has no right of way
on this one," Milton is quoted as replying. "It is the Girl
Scouts' road. They are paying for it."
QUESTION OF UPKEEP
"If this road isn't a county road,
how is it going to be kept up,? countered Borous. "What is going
to happen when the Orr and Wolf Lumber Company of Sanger build their
sawmill and start working on Miami Creek next Spring?" Milton is said
to have replied:
"I am not keeping up any road for
any lumber company."
Today, the culvert still is out and
the ranchers, Summer campers and lumbermen use the new private road,
which they declare is much more difficult to negotiate, even in good
weather. Their leaders are debating what legal action they can take,
especially in view of the fact Mariposa County is still minus the
services of a district attorney. Higgins summed up the situation
"We must first clear up some of the
legal aspects of the case. We shall insist that the Girl Scouts give
Mariposa County a legal right of way. We also want to determine
under what particular circumstances a private party can transfer public
property in public use to private property and, in so doing, make the
public property useless, which is exactly what was done when the Miami
Creek culvert was removed."
Milton could not be reached for
ROAD MUCH IN USE
When the All Year Highway and the
Wawona Road from Fresno to Yosemite were opened. Miami
Lodge was closed and the stages took the more modern routes. The old
road was no longer the state highway, but it was still the main artery
of traffic for the cattlemen, lumbermen, Summer residents, campers,
hunters and trappers in that area.
It is considered the best road
connecting Mariposa and Raymond and the areas in between them with the
new Wawona road to Yosemite.
BIRTHDAY DOLLARS WILL AID HIGHWAY
The Modesto Bee, Wed, Aug 5, 1959
Guest at the recent surprise birthday party given for 76 year old Mrs.
Clara Greeley of Bower Cave in Greeley Community Hall donated dollars
toward the new Highway 132 project as their gifts to the honoree.
The highway is of particular significance to Mrs. Greeley, as it passes
along property once owned by her parents, the late Mr., and Mrs.
Frederick Wenger. The original road was the only route for many
years into Yosemite Valley by way of Coulterville and was known
as the Coulterville-Yosemite Turnpike. It was a toll road with
the toll gate located on the old Frederick Wenger Ranch, now the John
McCauley Ranch. McCauley is a nephew of the Wengers.
Three hundred fifty dollars were donated by the guests in Mrs.
Mrs. Irene Lucas of South Gate gave the party for her aunt. Assisting
her were Mmes. Earl Matson and Lloyd Isaacs, the honoree;s nieces frm
Oakland; Mrs. Greeley's sisters, Mmes, Emma Trubull of Vallejo; Julia
Kinney and Estel Paty of Sonora and a sister in law, Mrs. Ben Wenger of
A great niece, Shirly Matson of Lafayette baked and decorated a
cake fashioned in the form of a book to comvey birthday greets to Mrs.
Pink and white color themed the party. A special cake completed with 76
candles and a large punch bowl centered the table which was covered
with an imported Chinese linen cloth belonging to Mrs. Matson.
Mrs. Greeley was ushered into the hall by her brother and sister in
law, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Wenger of Jamestown, and presented with an
orchid. Close to 70 guests attended.
MODESTO BEE AND NEWS-HERALD, NOV 3, 1961
BIG OAK FLAT ROAD CONTRACT IS AWARDED
Modesto Bee and News-Herald, Sunday Dec 4, 1966
McClatchy Newspaper Services
WASHINGTON DC- Congressman Harold T (Bizz) Johnson of the second, Lode and Valley, district today announced the award of a contract by the federal government for the granding of resurfacing of 3.8 miles of big Oak Flat Road in Mariposa County
A. J. Biani of Santa Maria, Calif., was announced as low bidder and won the contract on his $369, 066.50 offer.
The section of Hishway 120 to be improved is between Crane Flat and Hazel Green Creek, all in Yosemite National Park.
This is another phase of the Mission 66 program which is designed to provide a reconstructed Big Oak Flat-Ioga Road frm the western Yosemite boundary to cross the summit into Inyo County by 1966.
YOSEMITE ROAD PLAN IS OFFERED
A Yosemite National Park official
thinks the old Coulterville Toll Road into Yosemite might become a
one-way motor nature trail offering an "intimate" view of nature.
David Del Condon, assistant
superintendent, made the suggestion Friday at the 11th annual meeting
of the Northern California-Yosemite Highway Association in Modesto.
Condon said one-way nature
trails have been successful in the Great Smoky National Park, where
systems of old logging, railroad grades and roads have been converted.
ONE LANE WIDE
He said the road-trails are paved
but kept to one lane in width. Speeds are set at 10 miles per
hour and motorists are given a printed guide to find their way.
The forest comes right up to the
side of your car," Condon said. "Here is an opportunity for motorists
to have an intimate contact with nature."
condon said the Old Coulterville
Toll Road might be developed as such a road outside the national
park by the Highway 132 Association/
The association has worked 10 years
and raised $50,000 to promote Highway 132 and the old toll road as an
entrance to Yosemite.
The road extends beyond
Coulterville, where 132 ends, through Greeley Hill and past Bower Cave,
an possible future state park, into Yosemite.
Condon said the original toll road
is still open into the park through Merced Grove, Big Meadow, Forest
and to Elephant Rock on the Yosemite valley floor. However, the
Highway 132 Association road is closed just north of Merced Grove where
it leaves the old toll road to short-cut into Yosemite.
What Condon suggested would be a
one-way park exit from Elephant Rock to Merced Grove, joining the
Highway 132 road at that point.
He said the Old Tuolumne Grove road
out of the park at Crane Flat is one a one-way motor nature trail which
loops back on the new Highway 120 park entrance.
District Ranger John Rusk of the
Stanislaus National Forest , said timber sales in the national forest
will hamper any development of the Old Coulterville Toll Road south of
Logging trails will weave over and
across the old toll road in the near future, making it difficult to
follow, he said.
The logging will take place at
Crocker Ridge, Big grizzly Flat, Ned Gulch, Moss Canyon and Little
Nellie Falls, Rusk said.
Condon said the park as already
developed portions of the old toll road west of Elephant Rock, but
would not develop any of the road outside park boundaries.
He reiterated the statement of Park
Superintendent John Davis to the association that the park will not
provide a new entrance for the old toll road.
Highway association members have not
promoted the toll road sough of Merced Grove, which adds about 20 extra
miles to the trip into the park and is extremely rugged terrain.
As it stands now, however, their road is blocked by a gate just north
of Merced Grove , forcing them to backtrack or to take the extra 20
Condon and Ruck suggested the
association promote a connection between the old roll road and Highway
120 between Bower Cave and Buck Meadow.
This is a federal aid secondary road
and is well maintained, Rusk said. If the route were chosen it
would by-pass most of the roadwork the association has already done and
eliminate much of the most scenic portions of the old toll road.
Condon said construction of a nature
trail is a minimal cost, involving drainage, paving and some bridges
but little straightening or detouring. Numerous turnouts must be
provided for viewing and resting, and the motor trail must have access
for emergency assistance vehicles, he said.
The entire one-way road suggestion
is made difficult because of differing regulations in the national park
and the Stanislaus Nation Forest.
In other action Supervisor Harry
Hurlbert, Mariposa County board chairman, said the drive is continuing
to persuade the state to acquire Bower Cave on the old Coulterville
Toll Road and develop it as a park.
He reported the State Park
Commission passed over it recently because of limited funds and more
pressing projects elsewhere but said state officials never the less
remain enthusiastic about its potential.
He disclosed State Sen Stephen P
Teale, D 3rd District , will be asked to push the project.
WAWONA ROAD CLOSURE STIRS IRE OF
Modesto Bee, July 30, 1970
Mariposa- A winding country road
believed to have been used at one time as a stage route to Yosemite
National Park has been closed, chained and padlocked at the park
boundary , launching bitter protests from Mariposa County residents.
The old road, some of it paved and
some graveled, meanders from Highway 49 south of Mariposa across
the Chowchilla Mountains and into Yosemite at wawona, just north of the
park ranger station where visitors are supposed to pay fees.
But because it bypasses the entrance
station, the park has closed the road at the park boundary, causing
Mariposans who have depended on the road to reach Wawona and Fish Camp
to take Highway 41, adding about one-third more distance to the trip.
The Mariposa County Board of
Supervisors this week voiced its displeasure by instructing District
Atty. Richard Gimblin to write a letter to Yosemite officials demanding
that the Wawona road be reopened.
Supervisors invited Russel Olson,
acting Yosemite superintendent to attend this week's meeting and
explain the closure. However, he sent word he was too busy until
perhaps next Monday.
In the meantime, Olson said he will
do some research on the status of the road and contact his superior,
Lawrence Hadley, former Yosemite superintendent who has been
transferred to Washington, D. C.
Mariposa supervisors contend the
road was closed illegally, that the county, which owns the road, has
never given its permission to close the road and that, furthermore,
Yosemite did not advise Mariposa of its action.
One of the immediate reactions to
the closure of the road was a petition campaign, which so far has the
signatures of more than 200 persons.
Lee Berlin, one of the campaign
leaders who lives in the Chowchilla Mountain area told the supervisors
all the county's organizations are backing the move to reopen the road.
Also closed was Big Creek
campground, located on the Wawona Road within the park boundary.
Park officials said the camp is unimproved and that if it is reopened
camp fees would have to be charged, as is the rule in other campgrounds
County Supervisor Tom Richardson
said he recalled the road was used much of the time in the
1920's. Yosemite Park & Curry buses once used it and before
that it was possibly used by stage coaches.
It is 37 miles from Mariposa to
Wawona over the route. Those who now have to go to Wawona via Highway
41 must travel about one-third more in distance.
In Yosemite, park officials said the
road was closed at the park boundary the weekend of July 4 to make sure
that motorists no longer would be able ot enter the park free.
Because the road bypasses the entrance station, no fees have been
collected in the past f rom users of that road.
The park closed the road on the
weekend it had hippie trouble, when 500 or so "hippie types" there
rocks and bottles at rangers and fought law officer, Park officials,
said that since that time park management has moved to close the gates
In other action at the board meeting
this week, the supervisors were requested by Superior Court Judge Dean
Lauritzen to hire a full-time chief probation officer and
In other matters , James Owings and
Gimblin were named to succeed Lauritzen and Lowell Bondshu on the
Comprehensive Health Planning Council. The board named Lauritzen
and Cleo Adelsbach to succeed Judge Thomas Coakley and Richard Feister
on the Mental Health Advisory Board. cferoben
Modesto Bee and News-Herald,
Thrusday, Dec 17, 1970
COUNTY SAYS WAWONA IS "OUR ROAD"
Mariposa- a search of half century
old records has given Mariposa County supervisors ammunition with which
to renew their fight with Yosemite Nationa Park officals over their
closure four months ago on the Old Wawona Road accessto the park.
When park officals ordered a chain
placed across the unmaned Wawona entrance, they pointed out the closure
was necessary to control entry of undesirable elemnts into the park,
and they said the closure was perfectly within their power.
DEEDED TO COUNTY
Hower, Mariposa supervisors
contended the park officials had no such right. And now the supervisors
feel they have the facts to back up their contention.
County records show that Wawona Road
into Yosemite was deeded to the county in November 1917 by the Yosemite
Stage and Turnpike Co, the former owner, say the supervisors.-
transcribed by cferoben
OLD YOSEMITE ROAD WILL BE IMPROVED
by Thorne Gray- Modesto Bee and News
Herald, July 25, 1972
An all but impassable segment of the
old coulterville stagecoach toll road to Yosemite National Park will be
improved this year by the Stanislaus National Forest.
It will take a brave motorist to
dare the trip, willing to breathe thick clouds of dust and dodge
heavily laden logging trucks.
The reward would be free admission
to the park near Big Meadow and Foresta, where the future park
headquarters and visitor facilities are planned for the day when
automobiles are totally banned from Yosemite Valley.
GROVE OF SEQUOIAS
Those who brave the old road may
walk into the seldom visited Merced Grove of giant sequoias. A
portion of the Coulterville Road winding through the grove will be
converted into a trail
William Baker, Stanislaus National
Forest timber manager, explained the road improvement is related to the
sale last month of 19.5 million board feet of timber to the Yuba River
Lumber Co of Grass Valley. The trees had an estimated value of
$870,0 00 but sold in bidding for $2,015,000, Baker said.
The sale involves 2,700 acres of the
forest near the western border of the national park, north of El Portal
and south of the Highway 120 park entrance at Hodgdon Ranch.
Within the area, Baker said 779 acres will be selectively logged to
leave the young growth and 60 acres will be clear cut. The clear
cutting serves a number of purposes, such as the creation of fire
breaks and road links.
"OASIS" LIKE BEAUTY
The Yuba Co. will construct a
portion of the road improvements near Little Nellie Falls on Little
Crane Creek. Baker said the falls is being carefully skirted to
preserve its "oasis"-like beauty.
Most of the road improvement, 5.3
miles, will be completed under a separate contract for $768, 030
awarded to the W Saxon Baker Co. of Redding. The road is to be one lane
wide with a 15-mile-per-hour speed limit.
Baker, who is not related to the
Baker Co., said there are 15 places where the original toll road was
supported by stone revetments. At least 10 of the stone walls
will be preserved although in places the improved road will pass just
98 YEARS AGO
Just 98 years ago, on June 17, Dr.
John McLean pushed the Coulterville toll road through to Big Meadow,
the first formal road in Yosemite Valley. A month later the Big
Oak Flat Road to Crane Flat and the valley, today's northern entrance,
McLean's Coulterville and Yosemite
Turnpike Road Co. spent $71,000 building the twisting route. He
originally intended to use the Crane Flat route but detoured through
the Merced Grove of big trees when he discovered them Over the
years, the Big Oak Flat Road became more used and eventually became
State highway 120.
State Highway 132 linked Modesto to
Coulterville, as it does today, but there the state route ends.
In Modesto and Mariposa COunty, A Northern California Yosemite
Highway Association was organized and raised $50,000 to improve the
toll road to the park.
BLOCKED BY GATE
The hope was enough traffic could be
lured onto the old road to justify its paving, and the eventual
extension of Highway 132 to the park border. For years there was an
entrance to the park near Crane Flat, but in 1966 the association
member, on their last annual outing up the road, found their way
blocked by a gate.
Had they continued down the actual
historic Coulterville Road that day, they still would have reached the
park at Big Meadow. But they might have broken axles or had
accidents on the steep, cliff clinging toll road. Instead , they
doubled back to Highway 120, express their disappointment to the park
authorities, and gave up their cause. Modesto is on no highway to
HAZEL GREEN COURT CASE -(COULTERVILLE ROAD)
Mariposa County Board of Supervisors
Statement Regarding Hazel Green Litigation- March 18, 2008
MARIPOSA COUNTY RESOLUTION NO. 07-414 Declaruing the County of
Mariposa's Interst in The Coulterville Road August 21, 2007
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