My grandfather sent this card to my grandmother, probably during a train trip involving one of his insurance sales deals. I was curious about the name given the trestle: Dollarhide, and found the fascinating story behind it in the Dollarhide Family Web Site describing Jesse Dollarhide and Descendants through Five Generations. I extracted the following portions from the in depth discussion (the final paragraph pertains specifically to the Dollarhide Trestle):
Jesse Dollarhide, Jr., son of Jesse Dollarhide, Sr., and of Nancy Jane Pierson, born 22 Aug 1816 in Harrison Township, Wayne County, Indiana. He died 20 Aug 1888 in Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon; and was buried in Hargadine Cemetery in Ashland, Oregon. . .
. . . By 1850, the sons of Jesse Dollarhide, Sr. (John, Jesse, Jr., William, and Joel Dollarhide), were all married with children, and all had adjoining farms in Jasper County, Indiana near the town of Morocco. Jesse owned a farm and also bought and sold stock for the Chicago market. Although the land was rich and fertile and crops were plentiful, a nearby swamp was the source of mosquitos carrying the infectious typhoid virus. For a period of about seven years, the four Dollarhide families living near Morocco faced this dread disease every year, and several of their children died as a result. Jesse's brother, Rev. John Dollarhide and wife Lucy lost five children to typhoid fever, and Jesse and Nancy lost one child. The mosquitos were not understood to be the source of the typhoid problem until the early 1900's, and the Morocco swamp that was the source of so many deaths was finally drained in 1921. . .
. . . In the Spring of 1861, Jesse Dollarhide took his extended family via wagon train across the great plains, joining his brother's family, who had settled near Dixon, Solano County, California. . . .
. . . In 1869, the Jesse Dollarhide family moved to Jackson County, Oregon. He and his older sons entered homesteads within a few miles of the town of Jacksonville. Jesse and his sons also purchased extensive acreage in timber lands. By 1885, the family built and operated a sawmill, south of Ashland, Oregon. With no other access to their timber interests in the Siskiyou Mountains, the Dollarhides paid tolls to the Applegate family to use their road, part of the historic Applegate Trail, which had been the scene of many wagon trains into Southern Oregon during the pioneer days.
Jesse and his sons purchased the right of way for a section of the Applegate Trail running from the foot of the mountains south of Ashland, Oregon across the Siskiyou Mountains summit and down to the village of Hornbrook, California. Although they had originally purchased the road for their own use, the roadway was to become a vital link and a primary wagon road between California and Oregon. As a family-operated toll road, it became a steady source of income to the Dollarhide family and they profited from it for some 30 years. The road was part of the same route which became the Pacific Highway, then U.S. Highway 99, and currently, Interstate 5. . .
. . . The Dollarhide Toll Road was the main route to travel overland from California to Oregon for many years. In the 1870's and 80's, one could take a railroad from Sacramento as far north as Redding, California. On the Oregon side, the railroad south out of Portland ended in Roseburg, Oregon. Between those two points, virtually all travelers between Oregon and California had to pass over the Siskiyou Mountains by way of the Dollarhide Toll Road. The Dollarhide family collected tolls for every wagon, plus so much "per head" for each person, horse, cattle, or sheep. . .
. . .In the words of Rosalie (Shetler) Dollarhide, wife of Oley B. Dollarhide (grandson of Jesse & Nancy Dollarhide), . . .
. . . "In 1885, the Dollarhides sold their farms near Jacksonville, and John Wesley and his brother Henry Clay, erected a sawmill south of Ashland in the Siskiyou Mountains. Jesse Dollarhide and his son, Henry Clay, purchased the toll road over the Siskiyou Mountains from Oregon into California from the Applegate family.
"The first sawmill was on Slate Creek, south of Ashland, Oregon. It was later moved to a new location higher in the Siskiyous. The timbers, ties, and the lumber used by the Southern Pacific Railway (formerly Oregon & California Railway) in erecting and constructing a long, high trestle across a canyon in the Siskiyous were cut in the Dollarhide sawmill and the trestle was named the "Dollarhide Trestle" by the railroad company and bore that name until it was filled in with rock and earth years later. It should be mentioned that oxen were used to haul logs from the forests to the sawmill site." . . .
When I read about the connection of the Dollarhide Toll Road and the Applegate Trail, I remembered an earlier post in which I shared a beautifully poignant photo taken by a friend that shows a portion of the original Applegate Trail in a Willamette Valley forest. The post is I knew they lived and moved, the title taken from the text of a poem by Matthew Arnold, titled The Buried Life, included in the post. I enjoyed seeing the photo and reading the poem again, especially in reference to this old postcard and its history; perhaps you might also.
He has crept into my memory yet again, that stepfather of mine, after having done so just last week when I mentioned him in the OPW post about Loch Katrine. This week's memory is especially sweet and so aurally pure for me that I smile at the thought of those nights in my childhood when my stepfather would put his harmonica to his mouth and play a low first strain. His blue eyes would twinkle and his eyebrows would raise expressively as he created the sounds of the whistle announcing departure from the train station. We moved closer to get on board for another train journey into the worlds of our imaginations. His harmonica playing was magic-making.
These are too.