Near Sierraville in Sierra County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Welcome to Kyburz Flat
Visiting all three sites should take about one hour.
This valley was inhabited by the Washoe who lived here as early as 2,000 years ago. See •Petroglyphs
In the 1850s emigrants began using Henness Pass Road which extended from Nevada City, CA to Virginia City, NV. See •More’s Station
Later the valley and surrounding hills were used extensively for grazing and lumbering. Basques began arriving from their homeland in Spain in the early 1900s to tend and graze sheep. See •Wheeler Sheep Ranch
[Interpretive Marker 1:]
Scattered throughout the northern Sierra Nevada are many ancient symbols carved by Native Americans into rock. These images are called petroglyphs. This petroglyph is made up of small round pits (cupules) that have been ground into the rock’s surface. Cupule petroglyphs are found all over the world and particularly in California.
Cupules have been linked with ceremonial activities performed by Native Americans such as fertility rituals, weather control and as places to leave special offerings.
Some researchers believe that the petroglyphs in this area were made by people who lived here as early as 2,000 years ago and may be ancestors of the Washoe.
The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California considers this site and others like it an important part of their heritage.
Please treat this special area with respect.
Do not make any castings or rubbings or put chalk on the petroglyphs. These procedures will damage the rock surface over time.
Interpretive Marker 2:
The California Gold Rush dramatically changed overland transportation in the American West. Entrepreneurs built a vast network of new roads used by stage and freight companies to service the new mining communities. Henness Pass Road was used in the 1850s for travel to the mining camps along the North and Middle Yuba Rivers. After the Comstock silver strike in 1859, Henness Pass Road was improved to attract travel between San Francisco and Virginia City via Sacramento, Auburn, Nevada (City) and Camptonville.
Wagons were the only way to move people and freight over the Sierra. Transportation companies using Henness Pass Road built way stations or arranged
After the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, traffic on Henness Pass Road dropped off considerably.
Illustrated signs along the trail show the location and remains of the hotel, barn, root cellar, well and corral that were once this thriving way station and ranch.
Interpretive Marker 3:
Henness Pass Road
The heavy Comstock-related traffic led to congestion problems along the bustling Henness Pass Road.
“At calculation we must have passed 2 or 3 hundred teams. Every wagon was heavily freighted, some with merchandise, others with iron castings for the mills, and quite a goodly number with families, fruit, whiskey, and furniture. There were horse teams, and mule teams, and ox teams. I never before saw so many teams on one road, no wonder the dust was so deep!” Journalist J. Ross Brown 1863
Interpretive Marker 4:
Two feet beyond this sign once stood a thriving hotel. After a long and dusty day on the road, travelers could find a hearty meal and a place to rest.
Interpretive Marker 5:
More’s Station Well
Way stations were always located
Five feet beyond this sign you will see an indentation. This was the site of the station’s well and source for fresh water. The well was 40 feet deep. Water had to be hand pumped to the surface as needed.
Interpretive Marker 6:
A vital place for resting, feeding, and sheltering stock animals and making needed repairs.
Interpretive Marker 7:
More used materials he had around him to build this corral. Rocks were cleared and stacked into low rock walls to hold fence posts.
Interpretive Marker 8:
This root cellar was used to keep food cool. Its thick stone walls and log-earth roof insulated it from the hot summer sun.
Interpretive Marker 9:
Wheeler Sheep Camp
Wheeler Sheep Camp was one of the main sheep camps of the Wheeler Sheep Company based in Reno, Nevada. Sheep camps were the summer based of operation for sheep grazing in the high Sierra meadows. This camp was built and managed by John Martin Gallues, an immigrant for the Basque homeland in Spain. Martin and his brother Felix built several of the camp’s structures before 1921.
Today, the only remaining feature of the sheep camp is the brick oven. Built around 1927, it was used to bake
Eventually the oven also collapsed. During the summer of 1992, Dr. Jose Mallea of the University of Nevada – Reno and other volunteers reconstructed the oven in cooperation with the Tahoe National Forest.
The oven is fully operational and many be reserved for use by the public. If you wish to use the oven, contact the Sierraville Ranger Station at (530) 994-3401.
Erected by Tahoe National Forest - National Forest Service.
Location. 39° 30.261′ N, 120° 14.246′ W. Marker is near Sierraville, California, in Sierra County. Marker can be reached from Henness Pass Road (County Route S450) one mile east of California Highway 89 when traveling north. Click for map. Marker and Intrepative Area are located approximately 11 miles south of Sierraville. Marker is in this post office area: Sierraville CA 96126, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Donner Camp Site (approx. 9.4 miles away); Donner Party Camp at Alder Creek Valley / Tamsen and Elizabeth Donner Webber Lake Hotel (approx. 9.4 miles away); Henness – Zumwalt Pass (approx. 9.4 miles away); Boca Townsite (approx. 11.3 miles away); Loyalton (approx. 11.9 miles away); Sierra Mountain Cemetery (approx. 12.2 miles away); The Gateway Cabin (approx. 12.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Sierraville.
Categories. • Native Americans • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 675 times since then and 14 times this year. Last updated on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.