My research took me to the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley where I found some important letters and images of Bugbey’s Natoma Vineyard in El Dorado County. The letters, from a local Folsom resident, describe how the prevailing opinion of the town was that Bugbey himself had set the 1871 fire that burned several buildings including his wine storehouse. The gossip was that he was in financial troubles and needed the insurance money.
Folsom American River Granite Bay
Posts on Folsom Lake, American River, Granite Bay, history of the area. Gold Rush, Railroad, People, Hiking.
Isaac Hinkle was 25 years old and working on his father’s farm in Indiana in 1880. His older brother Amos had left the farm for California and Isaac decided to follow him in 1881. By 1882 Isaac was a registered voter in Sacramento County’s Mississippi Township. In 1885 Isaac married Jessie Brown and would have a long marriage with Jessie for the next 48 years. Also in 1885 Isaac Hinkle would make his first land purchase. He bought land in the town of Ashland from John Cardwell who was a large owner of in the area for $850. Even though the land was within the Public Land Survey System of Townships and Ranges, the deed refers to original metes and bounds description before the 1865 official survey map.
It has been pointed out that several features or bends of the American River are not illustrated. I don’t believe it was the intent of the map maker to accurately depict river but to note its relative position to the mines. The distances of 25 miles to the lower mines and of 50 miles to the upper mines is pretty accurate. The lower mines were also known as Mormon Island for the first group of miners who did extensive mining after the initial discovery of gold by Marshall. The distance to the upper mines, site of Marshall’s gold discovery is also relatively accurate considering hilly terrain that had to be traversed to get to the location.
As her 78 year old father ate the breakfast she had prepared for him, she picked up the family shotgun, pointed it at the back of his head, and pulled the trigger. She then poured kerosene in the living room, kitchen, and on some of her clothes tossed on the floor, and set the house ablaze. She later recalled she had every intention of dying in the fire along with her father. Death was the only way out of the dilemma she had created as she saw it.
Most of the homes that are most directly threatened by a fire at Folsom Lake are in Granite Bay and El Dorado Hills. There are only a few scattered homes above and around the Peninsula Campground. Ironically, it is the peninsula that has some of the best fire suppression features. There are more meadows with fewer trees. Fewer people visit the Peninsula Campground Park because it can be difficult to access, especially when towing a boat, from Highway 49. There are also wide dirt roads that act both as fire break and allow for fire trucks to reach areas burning. In contrast, large swaths of Folsom Park land in Granite Bay and El Dorado Hills have only small dirt footpaths with limited access for large fire trucks. There is more human activity in these areas as they are close to recreational access points.
Within the 90 foot elevation change of the lake, it was proposed that all standing and down timber, brush over 6 feet high or with trunks greater than 2 inches in diameter would be cleared out. Trees whose height reached to 360 feet in elevation would be topped to 10 feet below the expected low water elevation.
By the time of the Army Corp report conducted its inventory most of the North Fork Ditch had been lined with concrete. Many of the appurtenances were also concrete such as wasteways, intake structures and sluice gates. Of the 37 flumes, 32 were constructed of timber and only 5 were metal. The timber flume construction allowed them to be built with small changes or bends in the direction to navigate around boulders and hillsides. The metal flumes, by contrast, were best adapted to spanning a small ravine in a straight line.
There is no record of when the last Native American camp ceased to exist in the Folsom Lake region. Many historians note that by 1853, most of the Native American population had dispersed, move south, died in conflicts with immigrant settlers, or died of disease. But there is no doubt that there was a thriving Native American population and culture along the north and south forks of the American River. Where Native Americans once ground acorns, skinned deer, or fashioned tools from local rocks, Folsom Lake visitors now fish, hike, ride horses, bikes, and have picnics.
Within the rate submission was a detailed outline of the Natomas water canal along with photos of the Natomas Dam on the South Fork of the American River, the New York Ravine wooden siphon, and other pictures detailing the canals and flumes. The detailed history of the Natomas canal ownership along with a complete inventory of the structures submitted with the application for higher water rates gives a glimpse of this important gold rush era water works project.
Invariably, whenever the Bureau of Reclamation releases water stored behind Folsom Dam during the winter before the reservoir is full, people across the region accuse the Bureau of mismanagement, incompetence, and wasting water. The management of Folsom reservoir is complicated. But during the winter months, the main priority of Folsom Dam is flood control. That is why the dam was built in the first place.