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.