mining communities, it was often the enterprising people of the
time who struck it rich. They became wealthy not by swinging
a pick or hefting a shovel but by providing services to the
miners. Shovels could cost $50 and bartenders often made
hundreds or even thousands of dollars profit on a single barrel of
In 1869, several men built the first road into Bullion Canyon
and then set up a toll station. At this time there were
several rich claims being worked in the canyon and it was now
possible to haul ore by wagon.. To the dismay of the toll road
operators, the miners built a second road into the canyon to avoid
paying a toll their teamsters considered unreasonable.
This second road closely follows the same route we drive
today. The remains of the toll road are visible on the right
side of the road (north) and lie 25 feet above this stop.
Look for short, graded sections of roadbed now overgrown with
oak. The course of this old road can be seen from this spot
for a distance of about 150 feet up and down the canyon. All
of these early roads were built by pick, shovel and dynamite.