A special aspect of TD4WD trails runs is the opportunity to visit historical places in the region. On May 23rd, we’re heading to Allegheny, California for a 4-hour guided tour of the original, and still operating, Sixteen to One Mine. Allegheny is appropriately 40 miles northeast of Nevada City. Mining starting in the Allegheny area in 1851 with the Sixteen to One mine starting in 1896. To improve transportation between the mines, specifically the North Star Mine in Grass Valley and the Tightner Mine in Alleghany, Civil Engineer Arthur Foote oversaw the building of the Foote’s Crossing route above the middle fork of the Yuba River. In 1913 the steep canyon walls were tamed by Italian stonemasons who chiseled out a narrow shelf road linking Allegheny and Nevada City – quite an engineering accomplishment in the day. Today Alleghany is easily accessible via Highway 49 from either Nevada City or Downieville while the more southern Foote’s Crossing route is seldom used and is both rough and puckery due to the exposed narrow shelf road perched high above the river.
In October, TD4WD Club’s history tour continues with a trip to the Cerro Gordo Mine and ghost town in Owen’s Valley southeast of Lone Pine. This privately owned historical site offers private tours with tickets sold on their website. Significant amounts of silver were mined from the late 1860s, with operations shifting to zinc in the 1920s. Come join us – check out TD4Wheelers.org for more information about our trail runs and socials.