Highway 50 development: Mile markers part three
This last article on mile markers will attempt to identify some way stations from Tahoe to Placerville.
Miler Marker 3
In 1853 there was the “3 Mile House” that was built in Smith Flat over the Deep Blue Lead Mining Channel. The “3 Mile House” became Home Ranch, now called the Smith Flat House Center for Health. Deep Blue Lead Mine was the best-known and one of the richest in Placerville area.
Mile Marker 4
This is the location of the well known Apple Hill Cafe.
Mile Marker 12
This marker is found near the exit for Sportsman Hall, which in the 1860 held 500 horses as a Pony Express station and was known as “12 Mile House.”
Mile Marker 16
Find this marker before Fresh Pond. In 1861, a house and ranch were built there in where several wagon roads converged, including the popular Gold Rush-era Johnson’s Cutoff route. The Fresh Pond stop dates back to the 1950s for auto travel and bus stops. In 1966, this location was a Chevron gas station and a Greyhound bus station. In 1983, everything but the sign was demolished. Since 2005, there is a new Chevron gas station/convenience store and restoration of the Fresh Pond sign.
Mile Marker 20
There is no Mile Marker 20 but it would be close to Bridle Veil Falls.
Miler Marker 21
This marker is close to the Riverton Cal Trans Station.
Mile Marker 23
On the east side of Riverton Bridge, there was a 1901 Riverton Bridge constructed that has been replaced by the current bridge.
Mile Marker 25
This marker comes right before the White Hall building. Whitehall was constructed in 1940 and this building is at the location of a Gold Rush way station and saloon that later became a resort and store.
Mile Markers 31 through 33
These are at the metropolis of Silver Fork, Sugar Loaf, Websters and Kyburz. Samuel Kyburz is reported to have worked with John Sutter in 1848. Kyburz eventually purchased land around Kyburz that became a toll house and has been sold and resold several times.
Miler Marker 36
This is where Fred’s Place was, the site of a resort and roadhouse after the curve east (closer to Tahoe) of the 5,000-foot elevation sign on Highway 50. Anna and Fred Scriggs opened the resort in 1918 on land leased from Eldorado National Forest. Fred’s Place closed in 1965.
Mile Marker 42
This marker is near Strawberry. In 1859, it was a way station owned and operated by a man named Berry. Legend lists two stories on how the name “Strawberry” originated. First, the name Strawberry came from Berry’s alleged practice of feeding travelers’ horses with straw, while the owners had paid for hay. The other and equally unsubstantiated story indicates that Berry’s lodge featured thin straw mattresses.
Visitors would call for “More straw, Mr. Berry!” Hence the name – Strawberry.
Mile Marker 47
This marker is near Phillips Station. Phillips Station was established in 1862 as a stage stop and way station.
Mile Marker 50
Find this marker on the top of Echo Summit just before descending.
Mile Marker 52
This marker is near the 1859 Osgood’s toll house was actually on South Upper Truckee road at the bottom of Old Myers Grade near the stream. In 1911 the Echo Lake dam at broke and washed the house from its foundation. Osgood Toll House is currently next to the Lake Tahoe Historical Museum.
Mile Marker 58
This marker is 10 feet from the front door of the Samurai Restaurant on Highway 50.
Mile Marker 59
Find this marker at Tallac Ave. on Highway 50.
Mile Marker 60
This marker has rested at the Lake Tahoe Historical Society front door for as long as the locals can remember.
– David Borges, D.C., is a local chiropractic doctor and a Tahoe historian.