Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Rise and Fall of a Resort

The namesake of Dunsmuir's charming Tauhindauli Park was a Wintu Indian. Born at the Upper Soda Springs Resort in 1873, Grant Towendolly (he used this phonetic spelling) grew up in and was the resort’s caretaker for years.

The arrival of the Central Pacific railroad in 1886 made Upper Soda Springs easily reachable. The original inn was replaced with a two-story elegant hotel, becoming the popular Upper Soda Springs Resort. It drew visitors from the San Francisco Bay area, who traveled by stagecoach on the Siskiyou Trail, an ancient Indian road running from the California Central Valley to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The modern Highway 5 now parallels this road. Many spent up to a month at the resort, enjoying hunting and fishing, as well as the “soda waters” and the magnificent scenery.

History and progress, however, always drive things forward. In 1916, the state widened the road into a more modern highway. With the construction of a bridge over the river, cars with tourists passed through the area, neglecting to stop at the once magnificent resort. Sadly, in 1920, the Upper Springs Resort closed its doors.

There’s more to this tale – a story of vision, persistence and community. Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dunsmuir's Hidden Treasure

At the northern end of Dunsmuir lies a hidden treasure. This gem’s been around for 2 or 3 years. But travel along Highway 5 and you’ll never know it’s there.

Underneath a towering ribbon of highway sits Tauhindauli Park (pronounced taa-ow-in-doll-ee), a mixture of riparian forests of white alder, willow & black cottonwood, a restored footbridge and trail, picnic tables and prime fishing areas on the Sacramento River.

The story of Tauhindauli Park is interwoven with the early days of Siskiyou County.

The original property was inhabited by the Wintu and Okwanuchu tribes, who settled throughout Siskiyou county and Southern Oregon. In 1852, two brothers - Harry and Samuel Lockhart - bought the land. Mule train riders and prospectors traveling from Yreka to the town of Shasta were overnite guests at the Lockharts inn.

Sold to Ross and Mary Campbell McCloud in the 1850’s, in the 1880’s they built a resort. With the growing popularity of the California-Oregon Stagecoach Road, the Upper Soda Springs Resort drew wealthy travelers who came to “take the waters.” A suspension footbridge, built in 1886, used to cross the river from the railroad tracks, allowing visitors to walk up to the resort. Stately magnolia and fruit trees still stand testament to the natural beauty of those glory days.

There's more to come on this beautiful park, how it got it’s name and how it came to be the special place it is today.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

We're Back!

We’re back! Or about to be, and very soon.

For those of you who’ve wondered if this site was defunct, take heart! More stories are in the works and will post shortly. We’ll cover forgotten tales and almost forgotten places throughout the northstate.

An upcoming story will focus on an amazing little park that was a treat to find. Tucked away underneath Highway 5, its charm includes riparian forest, a hiking trail and a plum fishing area on the Sacramento River.

Other stories in the works include a group whose friendship brought them from Silicon Valley to settle our nothern dairyland as close neighbors and historical tales of Lassen and Placer counties.

So stay tuned. You won’t have long to wait. And you won’t be sorry you did.