Crossing the Blue Ridge in the 1800s
It was an “execrable toll-road”, “rough, ragged and jagged”, “the great mental and moral strain I endured”. The toll-taker “enforced his demands for toll with a double-barrelled shotgun”.
No, this is not the contemplations of one of your gravel-riding cycling brethren. In the late 1800s, the Blue Ridge was a major travel obstacle between the Sacramento Valley and the Berryessa Valley, and thence to Napa Valley and Clear Lake. A mountain wall rising 2500 feet from the floor of the Sacramento Valley, the Blue Ridge runs north and south for forty miles from Vacaville to Rumsey. As more people settled in the Coast Range and mercury and borax mines developed in the 1800s, the need for transporting goods and people over the Blue Ridge increased.
Local historian and storyteller Marc Hoshovsky will share with us tales of how did people cross the Blue Ridge in the 1800s. It’s a story of early explorers, a little taste of Bear Flag Revolt espionage, toll-road swindlers, a forgotten high pass, and dreams of narrow- gauge railroads… and some of these byways can still be accessed by bike…if you are rough and have great mental and moral fortitude. The mysterious Old Toll Road off Berryessa-Knoxville Rd? The Unknown Valley and Leesville Grade? Tollhouse Meadows? Knoxville Mercury Mine? The Davis Double Century? All will have new meaning for you after tonight!
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82706670058?pwd=OE9Lb3JFZWJOdFltaWREN1BlbG53QT09
Meeting ID: 827 0667 0058