LOCAL HISTORY PROJECT

Tollhouse Series 9
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The Town Hall in Tollhouse. It was also referred to as a recreation and dance hall. It met the needs of a small community. At different times it served as a school, a church, a meeting place, a site of weddings and funerals, and a site of many other community gatherings. It sat on the hill behind the bar, behind where Henry Ockel's house was. It was built in the style of many of the old mountain schools. Note the old car left front. The children are unidentified.

circa: 1910

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This is a good picture of the "rec hall" in Tollhouse taken by Achilles Mudge. Ed McMurtry once told me of a boxing match held in this building against a boxing team from Clovis. He said there was a large crowd, standing room only, and that the local boys did well against the "big city" boys. If the mountain boys could all box as well as Ed and his brothers then the Clovis boys were in trouble. This was the kind of use the hall hosted regularly. It was either torn or burned down in the 1940's.

circa: 1925

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Cattle and sheep moved through Tollhouse often. They were driven to the high country in the spring and driven back to foothill ranches or the valley in the fall. Summer graze in the mountains kept ranchers from overgrazing their home ranches. All drives through Tollhouse went up and down the old grade and the old route was still used after the building of the new grade. Some cattle are still grazed in the high country but no sheep. Today they are trucked up and down the mountains.

circa: 1920

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Cattle and sheep were driven to Tollhouse and held there for the night and started up the grade early the next morning. This picture is of the holding corrals in Tollhouse. When the toll road was still in effect the stock men paid a few cents a head to use the grade. The original "Toll House" is visible here, middle left.

circa: 1910

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A view of the stock corrals in Tollhouse. The Toll House is behind the corral, left. Old Tollhouse Road went left to right behind the corral and then made a right turn and started up the mountain. Several cowboys are visible on their horses.

circa: 1920

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A flock of sheep headed west after passing through Tollhouse. The herders and their dogs can be seen at the back of the flock.

circa: 1925

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Cattle being herded by the "toll house" in Tollhouse. They have come down the old grade so this must be fall. They are headed to their home ranch, either in the foothills or the valley.

circa: 1930

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Sheep caused a serious water contamination problem in early Tollhouse. A drover started up the grade late one morning on a very hot day in July 1877. About a third of the way up the mountain, his sheep got overheated, laid down and died. The story is, that a couple of thousand sheep died and their carcasses were kicked off the road over the bank. They rotted and the fall rains carried contamination into the surface wells of Tollhouse, causing much sickness. The old and the young died.

circa: 1880

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Sheep are being narrowed from a flock to a countable trickle by the truck parked on Old Tollhouse Road. The spot where the old grade turned right up the mountain is in the background right. The deaths of many sheep on the grade in the spring of 1877 caused the deaths of many people in Tollhouse in 1878 due to contaminated water. Several Yancey children were among the casualties.

circa: 1930

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The original "toll house" was located east of the town center at the start of the Old Tollhouse Road or the grade. The toll road operated until 1878 when it was sold to Fresno County. Fees were charged to users of the road depending on what they took up the grade. Wagons were a dime and buggies were a nickel. Horses, cattle and sheep were charged by the head.

circa: 1880

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This project was designed and created by
Bud Olson and Dan Resciniti
©1998-2001