Skip to main content

Nexus of the Universe; the Bulter, California ghost town site

Near the far flung eastern expanses of the city of Fresno in a County Island there is a roadside oddity along Butler Avenue.  Just west of the junction with Fowler Avenue there is a cross-street signed as Butler/Butler.






If you are a Seinfeld fan you'd might consider a junction where a street intersects with itself to be the "nexus of the universe."  Howsoever it appears the Butler/Butler street blade signage is simply the result of Fresno County not often signing; street, place, lane, road, drive, or boulevard for whatever reason.  However, the location of Butler/Butler is approximately located a half mile north of the Butler ghost town site.  Butler was located on the Southern Pacific Railroad line heading east out of downtown Fresno towards Sanger.


Butler was a rail siding town along the Stockton and Tulare Railroad which was apparently built likely in 1887.  The first map reference to Butler I can find is on the 1889 map of the State of California.

1889 Map of California

Butler appears to have been a sizeable settlement as evidenced by this sectional of a large Fresno County Map below from 1891.

1891 Fresno County Sectional Map 

Interestingly Butler appears to have been located at the junction of what is now Fowler Avenue and a street called Malvoise Avenue.  Malvoise Avenue used to run on the north side of the Stockton and Tulare Railroad tracks.  A portion of Malvoise Avenue appears to still exist today as a rail service road west of Clovis Avenue.  Bulter appears to have had an organized street grid that appears to have been completely lost to time.  Muscatel Avenue is the modern alignment of Butler Avenue but I have no idea when the name may have changed.

The last map reference I can find for Bulter was on the 1935 California Division of Highways Fresno County map.  Additional sidings east of Butler can be seen and were called; Locans, Ivesta, and Clotho.

1935 Fresno County Highway Map

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mineral King Road, the White Chief Mine, and the unbuilt California State Route 276

Back in July of 2016 I took Mineral King Road east from California State Route 198 to Mineral King Valley within the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Sequoia National Park.  This June I revisited Mineral King Valley and made my way up to the White Chief Mine.


Mineral King Road is a 24.8 mile rural highway maintained by the National Park Service and as Tulare County Mountain Road 375.  Mineral King Road originates at California State Route 198 in Three Rivers near the confluence of the Middle Fork Kaweah River and the East Fork Kaweah River.  Mineral King Road climbs from a starting elevation of 1,400 feet above sea level to 7,830 feet above sea level at the White Chief Mine Trailhead in Mineral King Valley.  Notably Mineral King Road is stated to have 697 curves.


Mineral King Road has an average grade of 5.1% but has several stretches between 15-20% in places.  Pjammycycling has a detailed breakdown on the grade levels over the entirety of Mineral King Road.

Pjammycycling on Mineral King R…

Hetch Hetchy Valley; Hetch Hetchy Railroad, abandoned Lake Eleanor Road, and the Wapama Fall Bridge

This June I took a trip out to Yosemite National Park upon receiving my COVID-19 Day Use Reservation.  My destination in Yosemite National Park was out in Hetch Hetchy Valley.  I sought to hike to the Wapama Fall Bridge which took me through some of the path of the former Hetch Hetchy Valley Railroad and abandoned Lake Eleanor Road.



Part 1; Hetch Hetchy Valley, the Hetch Hetchy Railroad, and reservoir roads

Hetch Hetchy is glacially carved valley similar to Yosemite Valley which is located on the Tuolumne River of Tuolumne County.  Hetch Hetchy Valley presently is impounded by the O'Shaughnessy Dam which was completed during 1923 as part of a project to deliver water and hydroelectric power to the City of San Francisco.  Before being impounded Hetch Hetchy Valley had an average depth of approximately 1,800 feet with a maximum depth of approximately 3,000 feet.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is approximately three miles long and as much as a half mile wide.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is located dow…

California's Rogue Sign State Route Shields

While recently revisiting Yosemite National Park I took a couple minutes to capture some of the California Sign State Route shields posted by the National Park Service ("NPS").  None of the NPS shields were actually posted on roadways maintained by Caltrans but were clearly intended to create route continuity with the Sign State Highways.  This phenomenon is not exclusive to Yosemite National Park and can be found on numerous roads not maintained by Caltrans throughout California.



Part 1; Route continuity over who maintains the route

In the very early era of State Highways in California the Division of Highways didn't actually field sign the Auto Trails or even US Routes.  The responsibility of Highway signage fell to the California State Automobile Association ("CSAA") and Automobile Club of Southern California ("ACSC").  The Auto Clubs simply signed Highways on roadways that best served navigational purposes.  These navigational purposes often didn&#…