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Historic Wagon Roads

Cerro Gordo Mines Road

1867-72

91. Cerro Gordo Mines

92. Belshaw's Toll Road ("Yellow Grade"), constructed by Union Mines owner M. W. Belshaw (Nadeau 1965b, p. 188).

93. Keeler, established 1872 (Nadeau 1965b, p. 192). Shipping point for Cerro Gordo bullion, across Owens Lake to Cartago, where it was transshipped via freight teams to San Pedro. Later Keeler would be the terminus of the old Carson and Colorado Railroad. The Keeler Commercial District, on Main Street, was photographed about 1890. A copy is in the Bancroft Library (Photo #10, 252) . The Palace Studio and Wells Fargo Express Office are shown. Keeler does not show on Wells Fargo map as a station in 1874 (cf. Stretch map).

After 1873, a road from Keeler which joined the old Coso Road (see below, B) along the south shore of Owen's Lake to the Owens River Road would be extensively improved by the Cerro Gordo Freighting Company, owned by Nadeau, Belshaw and Beaudry (cf. Rossiter, 1875, p. 75, and Nadeau, 1965b, p. 192). New stations were established, but their locations and descriptions have not been found during this research. Eighty teams of three wagons, each pulled by sixteen mules, were used to convey the enormous backlog of bullion to the San Pedro Harbor. Each round trip took eight-nine weeks (Rossiter, 1875, p. 59).
Adapted from
Cultural Resources of the California Desert, 1776 -1880 -- Historic Trails and Wagon Roads
Elizabeth von Till Warren & Ralph J. Roske
1981 cultural
Russell L. Kaldenberg, Series Editor
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