Fire! Fire at Cascade! Call Cisco
Snowsheds solved one problem and opened up an industry of snow shovelers, maintenance workers, carpenters, line walkers and fire lookouts. 24 hours a day, high on Red Mountain, lookouts scanned the snowsheds from Donner Summit to Nyack looking for fires. Steam engines emitted sparks that loved in the sun-dried pitch filled lumber. Fire could "spread with lightning like rapidity along the line of sheds, as if it were a train of powder. The long line of sheds acts as a huge chimney with a powerful draft, and not much time is required for a small blaze to develop into a fire of ugly proportions." San Francisco Call, October 15, 1905.
On spotting a fire, the lookout called Cisco and Cisco telegraphed the fire trains which were alway ready to go. Each had an engine, pumper, tender and tank cars and could direct three streams of water at once.
The views, at the lookout 2000 feet above you, are spectacular in every direction. Pictured here are the panorama of the snow sheds at the end of the 19th century (the black line is the snowshed), the building at the top of Red Mountain circe 1910, the building today, and a close up of the snowsheds in modern times.
A Good Story
The telephone was invented in 1876, within a year there was (one) on Red Mountain.
Red Mountain is named well. When you look at it from a distance, it's the red mountain top with the radio antennae. Sixty five million years ago Red Mountain was an island in the Pacific Ocean. Plate Tectonics put it where it is today.
Things to do right here
· Indeed the 360 degree views from Red Mtn., 2000 feet above you here, are grand. The 3 mile hike is long and steeply uphill the whole way. The trail leaves from the back of Indian Springs Campground, just down the road from here on the right.
· Walk the old Highway 40 between the east and west bound freeway lanes along the river.
· Walk the old Lincoln Highway on the south side of the freeway and up the hill. The intersection there with the road going east-west, is the old Lincoln Highway. (1913).