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.
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.
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.
Thank you everyone who came to last Saturday night’s presentation of photos then-and-now of the transcontinental railroad route from Roseville to Truckee. Roger Staab was a wonderful speaker.His commentary comparing and explaining the historical and contemporary photos was entertaining and sometimes surprising.
There were 40+ people there — a wonderful turnout. It was great to meet new people and the refreshments were delicious.
We have an evening with a speaker and refreshments four times a year.
The next meeting and speaker will be on September 14, 2019, at 7 p.m.
You have probably noticed the Shadow Art painted on the walls of buildings and on retaining walls around Colfax. These murals were created by Jim Bowers and Foxey McCleary. The “Shadows Past” mural shown here is located on S. Auburn St.
The Grace Hubley Foundation has funded a guide to all of the murals, which is a PDF file that you can download and print or view on any device that displays PDF files.
Our next guest speaker will be Rodger Hisken, who will display, explain, and answer questions
about his collection of metal and wooden trade tokens (also known as token
coins) that were issued and used in the Colfax area. Sometimes called “merchant
tokens,” they were used to encourage repeat business by giving a customer a
token that could only be redeemed with the merchant or business. Sometimes,
non-metal tokens provided a way to give change during times of coin or metal
Rodger will explain the history of tokens, illustrating
his presentation with tokens from his personal collection and stories about the
detective work involved in collecting and identifying them. Rodger will also
If you have tokens, we invite you
to bring them to the meeting to show to the group and discuss with Rodger.
Rodger will have tokens from his personal collection on
display. Before the meeting, and after his presentation, you will be able to
view the collection and talk to Rodger. He will also have some of his reference
books on display and can help you find out more about tokens you bring to the
We will provide a handout about how to learn more about
There is no charge. This meeting is open to both CAHS
members and the public. Visitors and guests are welcome. Refreshments will be
provided. Bring a friend!
The December 2018 issue of the Colfax Cobblestones newsletter is in the mail. This issue contains the 1966 story about the Christmas tree that was cut on Grouse Ridge in Nevada County and shipped from Colfax to Washington, DC, to be the Nation’s Christmas Tree.
If you are a member of the CAHS, you will receive your copy in the mail in a few days.
Swend Miller and Ron Nelson have completed the restoration of the Bull and Bear sculptures that are located next to the Colfax Passenger Depot, at 99 Railroad St., in Colfax.
Over the years, maintenance of the sculptures has included painting them with linseed oil, waterproof marine-grade sealers, and paint. As the sculptures aged and weathered, the Bear and Bull developed structural problems related to vandalism and decay of the wood itself.
The Bull and the Bear sculptures were originally brought to Colfax from Mendocino, California in the 1940s and installed in front of the popular Bull and Bear restaurant on Canyon Way in Colfax.
Roger Staab took the following photos of the restoration.
Our guest speaker will be Alyssa Scott, a PhD student and Graduate Student Instructor at UC Berkeley who has being using the CAHS Archives for research about the tuberculosis clinics and treatments in the Colfax and Weimar areas.
Her research interests include the archaeology of health and disease, community-based archaeology, tuberculosis sanatoriums, and related areas. She has also transcribed some of the taped oral interviews that are in the CAHS Archives.
There is no charge. This meeting is open to all CAHS members and to the public. Visitors and guests are welcome. Refreshments will be provided. Bring a friend!
The September 2018 issue of the Colfax Cobblestones has been mailed to all CAHS members and a PDF version of the newsletter is now available to download or read online. All past issues are available on the Newsletter page.