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The Mountain Howitzer is a short barreled, large caliber cannon designed on such a small scale that the entire piece can be taken apart and carried on pack animals. Mountain Howitzers were mostly used on small skirmishes, scouting expeditions and …
In 1852 a pack trail was blazed from Sierra Valley over the summit to the placer mines of the North Yuba. Originally packers transported hay but within a few years this trade included beef, butter, barley, oats, hogs, and poultry.
On April 24, …
Beginning in 1854, John Bope's Ranch and Inn was a major stopping place on the Ridge Road. "3-1/2 miles to Tavern in Plum Valley, here we campt,...gold diggings all around here." - Loring S. Comstock, Aug 28, 1855
"We took up the mountain side through a rough and rocky, but not very steep, ravine. Large pines, firs and cedars abound,...some of which are fully six feet through." - Isaac J. Wistar, Aug 17, 1849
"On again (along ridge), 2 miles to Gallaway's Rancho, then 4 miles to Forest City, to right of road and Orleans Flat (and Alleghany) to left of road. - Loring Samuel Comstock, Aug 28, 1855.
"Went to Downieville, called one of the smartest mining towns in the country, containing some 4, or 5,000 inhabitants, buildings in the business part of town are very well built a great deal of business is done" - Winslow Blake, Aug 25, 1852
This Methodist Episcopal church, the first protestant place of worship to be erected in Downieville, was organized in 1855 by Rev. H. Ewart, who became the first regular pastor in 1856. Necessary funds were raised by Rev. John B. Hill.
Near this site in 1852 was erected the first Catholic Church in Downieville, with Father Dalton in charge. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1858 and replaced by the present structure the same year.
In 1864, the town of Crystal was laid out by the Crystal Peak Company west of this spot in order to prospect for gold in the rich quartz deposits that gave the peak its name. The miners were disappointed that the quartz deposits of Crystal Peak wh…
The Henness Pass Road was a major immigrant trail from the Truckee Meadows to the California gold fields. In the 1850's it was improved and became a toll road. In 1860 Felix O'Neil built a bridge over the Truckee River, east of this place and near…