Old Pictures of the Moody Ridge area (Northern Califorina, USA)

02/29/2000 - Created - Wow! A leap day
03/03/2003 - Moved to RichT.FreeShell.Org

Always ..... Incomplete

Some of the pictures below are from the Online Archive of California at www.oac.cdlib.org
The Thomas Moran picture came from the Making of America - Digital Library at moa.umdl.umich.edu

Old Pics

Alfred A. Hart Pics
Houseworth Pics
Edward J. Muybridge Pics
Charles R. Savage Pics
Carleton Watkins Pics
"California as I Saw It:" First-Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900 --- http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cbhtml/cbhome.html

A Brief History of Giant Gap by Russell Towle
   Giant Gap received its name as early as 1849, possibly 1848. It is not a "mountain pass" but a gorge, on the North Fork American. The cliffs stand fully 2500 feet above the river. Inasmuch as a goodly number of 49ers hailed from the eastern US, where names such as "Cumberland Gap" denote places where a river has evidently cut a path through a ridge, it was an easy step to name this gorge Giant Gap. You will also see it as Giant's Gap. In 1865 or 66, there was apparently a brief effort to change the old name to Jehovah Gap. It didn't stick.
   Just upstream from Giant Gap is ¥one of the many places named Green Valley, where 2000 people mined for gold in 1851 and 1852. But my own sources mention Giant Gap as early as 1849 ¥Reminiscences of Illinoistown, by Morgan Fairchild, in Thompson & West, History of Placer County, 1882.
   Giant Gap is one of the most beautiful places in California. An etching by Thomas Moran may be seen in the Pacific Tourist ¥1878, and it has been painted by many people. All the old guidebooks to California wax eloquent about Giant Gap.
   In some books about the railroad, you will find pictures of Giant Gap mislabeled "Cape Horn." It was always regarded as the most beautiful scene along the entire 3000 miles of the Pacific Railroad. An Easterner had read of the 49ers and the wild canyons of the Sierra Nevada. Here, then, it was, even wilder and steeper than one had guessed.

The Advance of the Iron Horse from the Sacramento Union, August 14, 1866
   "...The scenery along the route of this section is grand indeed. Four miles beyond Alta is Jehovah Gap, between high and precipitous mountains, through which, on a clear day, the traveler may see the green foothills, the tawny plains and the glittering thread of the Sacramento. Above the Gap, fifteen hundred feet below the railroad grade, is Green Valley, where several thousand miners found employment in the flush days of gold-digging."

Nelsons' Pictorial Guide-Books.
   Opposite Alta, and at no great distance from it, lies the Grand American Canyon, one of the wildest and most magnificent ravines in the Sierra Nevada. The river is here confined between two perpendicular walls, each about 2000 feet in height, which are washed perpetually by the boiling waters, and leave not an inch of ground for the foot of the would-be explorer.

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