Hayden Hotel - Callahan, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
N 41° 18.558 W 122° 48.041
10T E 516684 N 4573112
This historical marker resides in front of the Callahan Ranch Hotel, a former hotel and now a private residence.
Waymark Code: WMX6EB
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 12/03/2017
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member cosninocanines
Views: 8

Located in front of the current Callahan Ranch Hotel




1852 1887

I have been unable to locate much information on the history behind this former hotel and stage road other than an excerpt from the book, History of Siskiyou County, California from 1881 that reads:

The south fork of Scott river, where it comes from the mountains, became the scene of considerable mining in 1851, being discovered and worked by some of the parties on their way to Scott Bar and Yreka, either from below or Salmon river. A trading-post was opened there that fall by Stinchfield St Murch. The south fork has always been a lively mining locality, and quite extensive mining operations are still being carried on there.

The business center of this region is Callahan’s, a thriving town located at the junction of the east and south ‘forks of Scott river, and at the foot of a mountain peak known as Mount Bolivar. In the fall of 1851, M. B. Callahan came to this place and decided to locate here. He built a small cabin and furnished a slender meal to weary travelers for one dollar and a half. The next spring he absented himself for awhile, and returned in June with his wife and opened a regular hotel. He also engaged in the business of supplying meat to the miners, and opened a store in the mines, three miles above his ranch, selling it to L. S. Wilson in 1854. The cabin which he built stood in the dooryard, just east of the present hotel of Hayden & Brother.

On the seventeenth of August, 1853, Mr. Callahan filed a land claim on his location: —“Commencing about 1.30 yards west of the junction of the north and south forks of Scott river; thence running south one-fourth of a mile to a stake; thence east one mile to a stake; thence north one-fourth of a mile to a stake; thence west one mile to the place of beginning; the said boundary not to exceed 160 acres of land, and which I intend to occupy and improve according to the possessory laws of this State.”

Asa White, Masterson and Lyttle bought Callahan out in the spring of 1855, and Asa White soon after became sole proprietor. M. Sleeper, Draper, Hamblin and R. P. Lacy were merchants there in the early days. Mr. Lacy built the first plastered house, which is now a portion of the residence of A. H. Denny. In 1855 Callahan’s became the terminus of Greathouse & Slicer’s stage line from Yreka, passengers from there being sent over the mountain on mules. It has ever since been an important stage station.

Soon after, White became proprietor, a post-office was established with him as postmaster. The office has always been kept in the hotel, and is now held by M. Hayden.

Callahan’s now contains two stores, post-office, telegraph office, express office, blacksmith shop, hotel, school house, Catholic church, a hall, and several residences. The trade is principally with the adjacent mines and the surrounding farms.

Near Callahan's are two valleys in the mountains. One of these, Plowman valley, is a beautiful spot owned by Alexander Parker, who also has large mining interests on the river, and business interests at Etna. The other is Noyes, or Norris valley, owned by Hayden Brothers.

A fellow waymarker submitted a more descriptive historical marker a few miles south of Callahan and highlights this historic stage line and pack trail in more detail and the marker reads:

California-Oregon Stage Road

A pack trail by 1851, Greathouse & Co. muled passengers by 1854. James F. Carr, contracted by the California Stage Co., finished the last six miles of road from Trinity River to here, Sept. 14, 1860. The first daily mail and passenger stage, driven by Williamson Lyncoya Smith, crossed over two days later. A stage stop and 100 mule barn, for lodging, meals and relief teams was located here. The winter road was kept open by oxen to break trails and sleighs to carry passengers and express. Known as the Western Branch of the California-Oregon Trail, safer from Indian raids than trails to the east. This old toll road fell to disuse by completion of the railroad in the Sacramento River Canyon, in 1887.

Dedicated by Humbug Chapter 73
and Trinitarianus Chapter 62
E Clampus Vitus, Sept. 13, 1986

Another online brochure from the Hugo Neighborhood Historical Society describes the early stage lines in southern Oregon and northern California in good detail and tells us:

Stage Lines Connected Early Cities “In the early days when staging was the approved method for passenger travel between Oregon and California points, stage stations dotted the route from Portland to San Francisco. While the stages and passengers made the continuous trip, stopping only for meals, the jaded horses were exchanged for fresh stock at these designated stations, which in southern Oregon were located at Canyonville, Galesville, Grave Creek, Grants Pass [Louse Creek], Rock Point, and Jacksonville. . .“This route was used by all north and south travel until the railroad was built through to connect the California extension.”4 [in 1883 to Grants Pass, Oregon]

“Travelers paid the considerable sum of 15 cents per mile to ride in Concorde stages drawn over the mountainous Oregon-California stage route by sixhorse teams.”5

Oregon and California Stage Company: 1860 “Before 1857 there was no regular stage line of passenger coaches in Oregon. In 1857 a daily stage from Portland to Salem was established. In 1859 a mail and passenger stage coach ran once a week between Portland and Eugene and from Eugene to Jacksonville. In 1860 the post office department ordered the mail to be carried once a week to Jacksonville and way points.”6

“In 1853 a consolidation of stage lines in California became the California Stage company and in 1860 it secured a contract for a daily overland mail from San Francisco to Portland. By June, 1860 this company was operating as far north as Oakland, Oregon. In October, 1860 by connection with the Oregon Stage company, at Corvallis, a thorough trip was made from Portland to Sacramento.”6

“The great flood of 1861-1862 carried out the bridges and for months the mails were interrupted. H. W. Corbett and Co. operated the line from 1866 to 1869, and Jessie D. Carr carried the mail until in 1870 the California and Oregon Coast Overland Mail Co., was organized and operated the stage line until after the railroad was completed.”6

I've personally located a few Oregon California Stage Road historical markers in northern California, particularly one stage stop north of Callahan, one in Henley-Hornbrook, CA and one Cole Station, just before heading into Oregon.

Road of Trail Name: Oregon California Trail

State: California

County: Siskiyou County

Historical Significance:
This pack trail and then stage road was the main source of travel between this part of California and Oregon, whether it be for mail, leisure, the California Gold Rush or emigration.

Years in use: 35 years

How you discovered it:
Passing through Callahan and saw this stone monument in front of the former hotel.

This pack mule road from the late 1840s became a stage road for mail and people for many years. Numerous stage stops were designated to refresh horses, drivers and supplies. Callahan was one of those stage stops along the Oregon California road. When the railroad was completed through the area in 1887, stage lines became extinct except in a few rural areas.

The marker is located in downtown Callahan and in front of the former Callahan Ranch Hotel (Hayden Hotel prior to that).

Book on Wagon Road or Trial: Not listed

Website Explination: Not listed

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