Wagon Wheels IV: Onward on the Old Military Road
The Lassen National Forest “Wagon Wheels IV: Onward on the Old Military Road” took place June 27 – July 1, 2011 The project leader was Brenda Reed, Lassen National Forest Archaeologist, with OCTA members Richard and Orsola Silva lending their expertise to the project.
Of the seventeen volunteers and participants, eleven were OCTA members, including: Dee and Glen Owens, Ann and Ed Bagne, Gail Carbiener, Sharon Hanson, Joe Molter, Don Curtis, Phyllis Smith and Richard and Orsola Silva.
The week started with work on the Bridge Creek Road which is the northern branch of the Lockhart Wagon Emigrant Road or sometimes called the Alternate Nobles Pass Trail or the Stage, Freight and Military Road to Fort Crook. This was a continuation of the work done during the 2010 PIT project.
By Tuesday afternoon the trail had been verified to the National Forest boundary. Emigrant diaries describe travel on this segment to Brand and Latours, a stopping place on the road.
Wednesday the group moved to a section of the first Nobles Pass Trail, opened in 1852.
Again diaries describe early emigrant travel in the area as they traveled from Hat Creek and Lost Creek.
Thursday the group worked to verify another possible section of the Nobles Trail running through an upcoming timber sale. The group then moved on to a section of the Old Lockhart Wagon road and near some possible grave sites. Later in the season the human remains detection dogs from the Institute for Canine Forensics worked the site and in their opinion found no graves.
Camp No. 13 June 19th 1865
Drove 6 miles to Hat Creek Station. wild looking place. Signs of Indians. They have been here of late fishing. George and myself rode on to top of …… a very high and. rockey mountain we have to go up. Shall have to pack our load up as it will be all horses can do to get the waggon up – fine grass and water here. Found the graves of two white men killed by the Indians — poor fellows died in a very wild and heartless place….
“TRAILING SHEEP FROM CALIFORNIA TO IDAHO IN 1865: THE JOURNAL OF GORHAM GATES KIMBALL.”
Annotated by Edward N. Wentworth
Armour’s Livestock Bureau
Reprinted from Agricultural History, 28-49-83 (April, 1954)
Friday was spent along Lost Creek. Unfortunately large sections of the emigrant trail in this area were lost when the explosions of Mt. Lassen, 1914 to 1917, deposited deep mud flows over the trail.