CAHS fall schedule changes

Oct. 17 and Nov. 16 CAHS meetings cancelled

The Colfax Area Historical Society (CAHS) board has decided to cancel the remaining CAHS meetings for 2019.

  • There will be no board meeting on Thursday, October 17, at 10 a.m.
  • There will be no general fall meeting with a speaker on Saturday, November 16, at 7 p.m.

The next board meeting will be in February 2020 and the next general member meeting with a speaker will be in March 2020. When the 2020 calendar is ready, the specific dates will be posted on Facebook and the CAHS web site.

If any need or problem occurs before then, the board will convene to handle it.

Oct. 20 special presentation, Sunday afternoon

We invite you to meet with other members of the community for a special book talk and presentation on Sunday afternoon, October 20, from 2–3:30 p.m. in the city council chambers in Colfax City Hall (33 South Main St, Colfax, CA 95713).

This is a special program that was organized by Marnie Mendoza, Colfax Mayor Pro Tem.

The speaker will be Robert B. Wells, author of Voices from the Bottom of the South China Sea: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Chinese Emigrant Disaster. See the Cobblestones article on page 7 for more information.

October issue of Cobblestones newsletter

In 1915, the Freight Depot was in the path of a track realignment and had to be moved–again.

The October issue of the Colfax Cobblestones newsletter was mailed today. All members of the Colfax Area Historical Society will receive a copy in the next few days.

This issue includes a five-page article by Roger Staab: “Colfax’s Much-Travled Freight Depot,” a history of the freight depot that is currently located on North Main Street in Colfax, California, across from downtown businesses. His article includes five historical photos from 1866, 1881, circa 1904, 1907, and 1915.

The entire issue can also be read online or downloaded as a PDF.

Please note that the October issue of the Colfax Cobblestones newsletter will be the final issue of 2019.



An Opportunity to Be Part of Iowa Hill History

Iowa Hill Community Cemetery, Iowa Hill, California

The Iowa Hill Community Cemetery, Inc. has an opening for the position of treasurer

By Robin Yonash

Would you like to make a big impact with a minimal time investment? Then the six other members of the Iowa Hill Community Cemetery Board of Directors invite you to join them as the Treasurer. This position requires only about five (5) hours a year and filling it will make an immense difference to the operation of the Cemetery.

Duties include attending two Board meetings a year (transportation from Colfax to Iowa Hill is available if needed) and presenting a Treasurer’s Report, plus filing simple reports annually with four Government entities. (Our taxes can be done with just two electronic postcards!) These activities occur between May and October.

Computer literacy, including basic Excel skills, and Internet access are essential. Residency in Iowa Hill is not necessary, although a connection to the community is of interest.

If you want to explore this opportunity, please contact our President, Tom McClure, at 916-616-9649 or email him at iowahillcc@gmail.com.

The Iowa Hill Community Cemetery is a 501(c)(13) charitable corporation. For more information on the historic Iowa Hill Community Cemetery, visit our web site at https://ihcemetery.weebly.com.

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Robin Yonash, Secretary to the Board of the Iowa Hill Cemetery, is the author of three books on the history of Iowa Hill: Schools of the Iowa Hill Divide, Towns and People of the Iowa Hill Divide, and Gold and Fire: A History of the Iowa Hill Divide. Signed copies are available for purchase at the Colfax Heritage Museum (proceeds benefit the Colfax Area Historical Society); unsigned copies can be purchased on Amazon.

Reminder: no program on Sept 14 — Join us on Oct 20 instead

Remember, there is no program tonight, September 14.

Instead, the Colfax Area Historical Society will be attending a special book talk and presentation on Sunday afternoon, October 20, with other members of the community in the city council chambers in Colfax City Hall (33 South Main St, Colfax, CA 95713).

This is a special program that was organized by Marnie Mendoza, Colfax Mayor Pro Tem.

See https://www.facebook.com/events/442134619729482/ for more details. You can also read more about the book and its author on his web site, http://southchinavoices.com/.

Our next program will be on October 20 instead of September 14

Our scheduled September 14, 2019, meeting and program is being moved to October 20, 2019, because we’re going to join with a larger community-wide audience for a special presentation and book talk by Robert B. Wells, author of the book Voices from the Bottom of the South China Sea: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Chinese Emigrant Disaster.

Wells will tell the story about some of the Chinese emigrants who crossed the Pacific Ocean from 1867-1875, arriving in San Francisco and Colfax, California, to build the railroads and mine for gold. The return of one group to Hong Kong by ship in 1874 ended tragically in a midnight fire and shipwreck in the South China Sea, just hours away from rejoining their families in China. His book tells their story.

This special presentation will be on Sunday afternoon, October 20, 2019, from 2–3:30 p.m. Because a large audience is expected, his talk will be held in the Colfax City Hall Council Chambers, at 33 South Main Street, Colfax, CA 95713.

More details will follow soon.

Cape Horn Promontory Can Be Seen Again at the Site of the Commemorative Plaque on Highway 174

Several decades of tree growth were recently cut down, revealing the spectacular view of the Cape Horn Promontory from the site of a commemorative plaque on highway 174 in Colfax, California.

Plaque location after
This is the current view of the Cape Horn Promontory, which is visible in the distance in the left side of the photo. This photo was taken in July 2019, after seven trees were cut down by Kim Douglass, with the permission of the property owner, Randy Brock.

The Cape Horn Promontory can be seen from the stone bench that is located in the parking lot to the left of the Red Frog Bar & Grill, at 1001 State Highway 174, Colfax, California.

The plaque is “dedicated to the memory of thousands of Chinese who worked for Charles Crocker on the Central Pacific Railroad. From September 1865 to May 1866 they hand-cut a ledge for railroad tracks across the face of Cape Horn Promontory over 1300 feet above the canyon floor. They are honored for their work ethic and timely completion of the transcontinental rails ending in Promontory, Utah, May 1869.”

The Red Frog is a popular bar & grill that has an outdoor deck which provides its own spectacular view of the Cape Horn Promontory. Randy Brock, the owner of the Red Frog, graciously allowed the trees that were on his property to be cut so that visitors who stop to read the plaque can clearly see the Promontory.

This is the previous view of the Cape Horn Promontory, a view blocked by several decades of tree growth. This photo was taken in June 2019, before seven trees were cut down by Kim Douglass, with the permission of the property owner, Randy Brock.

The Cape Horn plaque was first installed by the Colfax Area Historical Society in 1999. In 2019, a revised plaque was installed, which corrected several spelling mistakes and a historical error about the construction of the transcontinental railroad around the Cape Horn Promontory.

The other side of the bench has a historical plaque commemorating the Blue Star Memorial By-Way. That plaque was installed by the Colfax Garden Club in 1998. The two plaques are mounted on either side of a wide stone bench that invites you to contemplate the view.