Knights Ferry in Stanislaus County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
A dam upstream diverted water to a water wheel which turned the millstones.
Before the turn of the century, Charles Tulloch, David’s son, converted the flour mill into a hydroelectric plant. This plant provided electrical power for the surrounding countryside until the late 1920’s.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 37° 49.215′ N, 120° 39.892′ W. Marker is in Knights Ferry, California, in Stanislaus County. Marker can be reached from Knights Ferry Road. This section of Knights Ferry Road and the bridge are open to foot traffic only. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oakdale CA 95361, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Knights Ferry Covered Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Knight's Ferry Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus Knights Ferry No. 2 (approx. 0.4 miles away); Knights Ferry - The Store (approx. 0.4 miles away); Miller's Saloon (approx. 0.4 miles away); Knight's Ferry (approx. 0.4 miles away); Buena Vista (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Knights Ferry.
Also see . . .
1. Knights Ferry. A short history and selection of photos. (Submitted on October 24, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
2. Knights Ferry. On November 9 of 1849, William Knight was killed in the streets of the town he founded, gunned down by a man whose name is now lost to history. James G. Fair was in town the day it happened. He called it, “one of the most cold-blooded murders” he had ever witnessed. Knight was buried where he fell, in front of the Masonic Hall, on a low hill overlooking the plaza. (Submitted on October 24, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
1. "Tulloch" - History of the Name: by Russell E. Hartley, Chief Engineer, Oakdale Irrigation District
The name "Tulloch",
According to historical records, one David Tulloch and family emigrated to California during the early 1850's and settled in Knights Ferry which was then the center of extensive placer gold mining operations along the Stanislaus River.
This Mr. Tulloch, father of Charles T. Tulloch, was active in various business enterprises rather than just mining. Among these activities was the building of the first flour mill to be operated in Stanislaus County. This mill, which was located immediately below the existing Knight's Ferry covered bridge, was operated by water wheel power from a nearby river diversion dam. The mill operated under the name of Stanislaus Milling Company and functioned for some thirty years until the latter 1890's.
The son, Charles T. Tulloch, finally inherited the milling business and also became quite prominent in various developments about Knights Ferry. As the mining operations closed and the failing business became unprofitable due to competition, he acquired the so-called old "Knights Ferry Ditch". This ditch was used by the early miners for diverting water from the Stanislaus
Charles T. Tulloch also being a man of vision, proceeded to exploit the old ditch with its valuable water rights (some extending back to 1853) by constructing a hydro-electric power plant of some 600 K. W. (D.C.) capacity adjacent to the old flour mill building. This plant furnished the first electric energy used in the City of Modesto and for copper mining operations at Copperopolis.
In 1902, Mr. Tulloch did considerable betterment work on the old Knights Ferry ditch in order to insure power production and furnish water to the growing agricultural development about the Knights Ferry area. The outstanding betterment work was the construction of a new diversion dam on the river at a location immediately above Six Mile Bar. This dam, which is now known as the "Old Tulloch Dam ", was some 300 feet in length and around eight feet in height and very substantially built of heavy rock fitted together with cement mortar. It is claimed that the cement used in laying up the rubble masonry was shipped from Holland by sailing vessels around Cape Horn to San Francisco and thence hauled by freight team to the dam site. This dam remains today practically intact as a tribute to its skillful and lasting construction.
Over the years, Mr. Tulloch was forced out of the power business by reason of
While the Districts, in their plan of development, constructed a new diversion dam on the river, known as the Goodwin Dam and abandoned the Old Tulloch Dam, much of Tulloch's ditch system is still in active use. Finally, when explorations were going on for the Tri-Dam Project and it had been determined that the most desirable dam site for the lower reservoir unit was located only some 800 feet upstream from the Old Tulloch Dam, the Districts' Boards of Directors decided that it would be altogether proper that this big dam should be named "Tulloch Dam" and the reservoir, thus formed, called the "Tulloch Reservoir" in lasting memory of the Tulloch family and particularly to Charles T. Tulloch who had contributed so much toward pioneering irrigation and power development in the area.
Source: Old Corner.com
— Submitted October 24, 2008.