The Adventure Continues… Roads Go Through
You may have heard of the movie A River Runs Through It; well, this week Huell’s version might be called A Road Runs Through It! His two stops cover both Northern and Southern California — both spots off the big highways and rich in Gold Rush era history. I especially enjoyed the story of the creation of Beale’s Cut and the road through the mountains dividing the northern and southern portions of my state, not to mention its strong connection to the movie industry. The man who was inspired to dig this “Interstate 5 of 1863” was Edward Fitzgerals Beale; although this episode doesn’t really cover much about his background and life, he was a fascinating and colorful character in California’s history.
Join Huell as he rides right through the middle of some California history! First stop is Groveland, CA. a quirky Gold Rush community with Native American roots. Huell gets a tour with Innkeeper Peggy Mosley and sees the sights, including: “The Iron Door” – known as the oldest continuously operating saloon in the west. Groveland is also the headquarters for the Hetch Hetchy project, and gateway to Yosemite National Park.
Then, it’s on to Beal’s Cut, a hand-cut stagecoach road in the the Santa Clarita Mountains and a steep “short cut” between the pueblo of Los Angeles and points north. General Phineas Banning drove the first stage through the treacherous mountain pass in 1854. In 1863 troops under the command of General Beale deepened “the cut” to its present depth of 90 ft. In 1910 the old roadway was replaced by the nearby Newhall Tunnel, which gave way to modern-day Sierra Highway in 1938. Santa Clarita Valley Historian Philip Scorsa tells Huell all there is to know, including how Beal’s Cut lived on as a movie location for decades to come.