Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Emigrant Trail Crossing

Siskiyou County August 17, 1993

Weed, California….where the northbound traveler decides which side of the Cascades they’re headed to. In this case it’s a brief trip up US 97 from Interstate 5 and the next landmark before backtracking again towards Yreka. Now one might think they may have named Weed in honor of northern California’s biggest cash crop but that’s not the case, it’s all about the timber industry. Back around 1897 Abner Weed came here and noticed this crossroads of a spot in the high country caught a lot of wind, and that’s good for dying wood, and a great opportunity if you were a sawmill guy like Abner.

OAC photo

Fourteen miles up 97 from Weed we reach our destination at the side of a long open stretch of the two lane highway where it crosses the former emigrant trail to Yreka now called
Military Pass Road
. Locals head south on this washboardy surface for access to annual Christmas tree cutting for their homes. The road is high enough to reach silver tip pines, and low enough so as not to get too much snow.

Looking at the rugged northbound route it must have been a tough go for those folks walking alongside their wagons, yet this was nothing compared to what they would encounter going from Yreka to Ashland.

Noehill photo

Plaque Inscription: NO. 517 EMIGRANT TRAIL CROSSING OF PRESENT HIGHWAY - As early as 1852 wagon trains of overland emigrants crossed six hundred feet to the north of this monument, into Shasta Valley and Yreka, the monument also marks the point where the 1857 military pass from Fort Crook emerged to join the westward emigrant road.
Marker placed by the California State Park Commission,
The Siskiyou County Historical Society,
and the County of Siskiyou
Location: State Hwy 97 (P.M. 14.5), at Military Pass Rd, 14.5 mi NE of Weed
Google maps: 41.558628,-122.209382 

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