Caples Lake Sign DedicationOn April 22, 2005, $8,000 was appropriated by the board of California-Nevada (CA-NV) Chapter of the Oregon California Trails Association (OCTA) to install seven interpretive signs at notable historic locations in the Carson Pass and Hope Valley areas, along California State Route 88.




Caples Lake Sign Dedication

John Winner and Frank Tortorich

Amador County native, fifth generation Californian, historian, and chapter member Frank Tortorich worked closely with the National Park Service (NPS), the Eldorado National Forest, and the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest to bring this project to reality. After eight years and two funding increases, the project is finally completed. A total of $12,000 was appropriated, however only $10,000 was spent. The NPS took the responsibility for having the signs constructed, Tortorich provided the historical background for the text, and volunteers from the CA-NV Chapter provided the labor to install the seven signs.

Caples Lake Sign DedicationThe purpose of the interpretive signs is to inform visitors of the significance and importance of this area. It is the goal of OCTA to protect and preserve our rich pioneer history through information and education. These seven signs are to help further that goal.




Caples Lake Sign Dedication

California-Nevada Members pose after installing the sign. West Pass is in the background.

The location of the project dedication was held at the site of the final two signs at the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID) Caples Lake boat launching facility. This facility was completed in June of 2010 with grant monies. Supporters of the project and program were the CA-NV Chapter of OCTA, NPS Trail System, EID ($610,000), California Department of Boating & Waterways ($1.6 million), USFS – Eldorado National Forest ($280,000) and Alpine County.

Caples Lake Sign Dedication

Members gather round the sign they installed near Snowshoe Thompson’s Cave

The July 9 program began with the Pledge of Allegiance and introductions led by Chapter President John Winner. Brief remarks were given by Alpine County District 1 Supervisor Donald M Jardine; USFS Forest Architect Diana Erickson; EID Board President George Osborne; Amador District Ranger, Retired, Doug Barber; and not so brief remarks by Keynote Speaker Frank Tortorich as he gave the history of the Carson River Route. John Winner gave the closing remarks and invited all to enjoy the lunch.

Caples Lake Sign DedicationThe lunch was catered by long-time OCTA and Chapter member John Brissenden, owner of Sorensen’s Resort in Carson Canyon east of Hope Valley. The crowd of over 65 people included representatives from the different agencies represented, chapter members, and interested members of the public who read about the dedication in local and Sacramento newspapers. A publication will be produced with directions to the each of the signs which will be available at visitor and recreation sites. ~

Frank Tortorich

Caples Lake Sign Dedication

Caples Lake Sign DedicationCaples Lake Sign Dedication