Big Tree Road

Carson River Route

Big Tree Road – 1856

As the gold rush increased and more diggings were discovered, other roads were needed to get miners to the various towns up and down the Mother Lode.

In 1855, the California legislature appropriated $5,000 for the Surveyor General to  evaluate the existing wagon routes over the Sierra in order to determine which ones would be best for the construction of commercial wagon roads and to also find the best route for the transcontinental railroad.

Numerous merchants in the Murphys and Stockton areas petitioned the Surveyor General to explore a road from Murphys to Hope Valley. The merchants were told there were not enough funds for their request but they could do it at their own expense.  the town of Murphys raised $500 and proceeded to explore the route.  They discovered a workable  route and, in 1856, the Big Tree-Carson Valley Wagon Road was built and went into use.

The Avery Hotel was known as the Half-Way House, as it was halfway between Murphys and Calaveras Big Trees on the Big Tree-Carson Valley Road.  It was used by logging and freighting teams and stockmen taking their herds to and from their summer grazing ranges.

For More Information See the Book:   Big Tree-Carson Valley Turnpike  Ebbetts Pass and Highway Four by Coke Wood.