The Coarsegold Historic Museum gives periodic bus tours of Coarsegold and surrounding area. Recently we enjoyed a special treat. The museum wanted to know if this "Stage Coach Trails from Kelshaw to Hildreth" area would be a good tour for visitors and locals.
We were blessed to have two ladies that have lived a life that we read about in history books traveling with us and pointing out areas from their childhood.
They have ridden with the cattle drives to the high country and their families and history are about some of the people that have settled in this area.
One of the stops we made was at the Wide Awake Ranch, (above) once owned and built by Emphrey Hildreth. He had this prefab house sent around the Horn from So. Carolina to San Francisco. Then by ox cart to Madera County. It is said that you can still see some of the number markings for putting it together.
There is still an amazing back country when you drive off of Highway 41.
When you see a grouping of trees, such as Palm Trees, fruit trees, or Italian Cypress you can be sure there was probably some one's home stead at that spot. Rock walls are also a sign that there could have been a house in that area.
Hildreth was a gold mining town with many Saloons, a Blacksmith Shop, Hotel, School House, Rodeo Grounds, even a Millinery Shop. All gone, except for the remarkable house that our tour guide lives in now.
I don't have any photos of her home, because I was too busy, eating our brown bag lunch and trying to get some photos of the chickens in her front yard... Even forgot to take photos of the herd of cows in the little valley.
Anyone that visits our area should check with the Coarsegold Historical Museum, on Highway 41, near the Chukchansi Casino and Hotel. The museum is open summer hours now, and will be having their Music in the Meadow Fund Raiser, June 2. If you are interested be sure to check for tickets. We usually sell out early.