Alpine County Points of Interest

Old Emigrant Road in Bear Valley 5 November 2012
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Old Emigrant Road
Station House Road
Bear Valley

The plaque reads:

Old Emigrant Road

This Sierra Crossing used by Jedediah Smith 1821 - Major John Ebbetts 1850 - Snowshoe Thompson 1856-76 - Gold Seekers 1850's.

Old road left Carson Pass Road in Hope Valley, crossed Border Ruffian Pass to Hermit Valley, Pacific Summit and through Bear Valley to Big Trees. Big Trees Carson Valley Turnpike Co. built toll road over Ebbetts Pass to Silver Mountain in 1860's.

Harvey Blood collected tolls at this point from 1864-1910.

Dedicated by Matucca Chapter, E Clampus Vitus.
August 29, 1964

California artists almost always depicted the Western miners as free men working under friendly Western skies - not underground, not for others, and not in squalor of their own creation. Such hardy individuals quickly came to symbolize Western opportunity itself, for they were the first to tap untouched bonanzas amid then-unspoiled scenery, and they remain the most enduring agents in the legend of entrepreneurial independence and of he-men living close to nature's ample bosom.

...the episode of rich placer mining...was remarkably brief. It lasted but a few years at most, while the real fortunes were made by city-based financiers in hardrock mercury mining, by commission merchants, and above all, by those speculating in land and engaging in fraud on an epic scale.

Quoted from Imperial San Francisco, Gray Brechin, University of California Press, 1999, page 31.

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