The Plank Road

The old plank road was unique solution to the common problem of sand dunes in the south west and the last link to connect San Diego, California with Yuma Arizona. The plank road was a 6.5 miles long road which was built from wooden planks and floated on the shift sands of the Algodones Sand Dunes.

The Plank Road –  SD Automotive Museum
"Colonel" Ed Fletcher (December 31, 1872 – October 15, 1955) California Senator
“Colonel” Ed Fletcher (December 31, 1872 – October 15, 1955) California Senator
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Hedges California – Imperial County Ghost Town

Previously known as Tumco, Hedges California is a ghost town and former mining town located in Imperial County, California along the Tumco Wash in the Cargo Muchacho Mountains. The Hedges Cemetery is located just out of town to the north east.

[Circa 1905] Tumco Historic Mining Town, California - Hedges California
[Circa 1905] Tumco Historic Mining Town, California – Hedges California

The Spanish first started mining in the western Cargo Muchacho Mountains as early as the 1780s. The Yuma Revolt in 1781 halted early operations until 1823. Mexican prospectors operated in the area at some point prior to 1848.

A mining camp known as Gold Rock was formed in 1884 around the Gold Rock Mine which was discovered by Peter Walters of nearby Ogilby, California. Mr Walters sold his interest in the operations and the mine was renamed Gold Cross in 1892. A stamp mill is constructed by the Golden Cross Mining and Milling Company and soon the town of Hedges was founded. The town is named for C. L Hedges who served as vice president of the Golden Cross Mining and Milling Company.

The town was later named Tumco in 1910. Tumco is an abbreviation of The United Mines Company. The town site and its mines operated on and off up until 1942.

Town Summary

NameHedges, California
AliasGold Rock, Tumco
LocationImperial County, California
AliasTumco – Hedges – Ogilby
Latitude, Longitude32.8793891573, -114.837144612
GNIS243332
Elevation575 Feet
Population3200

California Historical Landmarks

NO. 182 TUMCO MINES – Pete Walters of Ogilby discovered the first gold vein at Gold Rock on January 6, 1884. From his Little Mary Claim began a gold camp which reached its peak development between 1893 and 1899 as Hedges, with 3,200 residents. Nearly closed, 1900-10, it was reopened as Tumco, 1910-13, and worked intermittently until 1941. Tumco has long been a California ghost town.

California Historical Landmarks 

Hedges Town Map

References

Potholes California – Colorado River Streamship Landing

Potholes California is a former gold mining camp and ghost town located in Imperial County, California. The town is located on the western side of the Colorado River near the present day Laguna Dam. The location was first mined by Spanish Miners in 1871. These early workings and miners were lost during the Yuma War, 1850 – 1853.

Potholes California
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Colorado Steamships

From 1852 through 1909, Colorado Steamships ferried people and supplies up and down the Colorado River to mining camps and outposts. Following the discovery of gold in California, westward expansion of the United States was on the mind of most people seeking their fortune of livelihood. Wagon trains, horses and trains all brought people deep into the new county seeking their fortune. Lesser known is the role of the steamships, which brought supplies and people up the Colorado River from Baja California to the Green River in Wyoming.

View showing steamboat Cochan on the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona in 1900 - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
View showing steamboat Cochan on the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona in 1900 – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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