Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2020

Smith Rapids Covered Bridge

While Wisconsin is a state with a storied history in the logging and forestry industries, there are not many covered bridges that dot the Badger State, and far less that would be considered historic. Built in 1991, the Smith Rapids Covered Bridge over the South Fork of the Flambeau River in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Fifield, Wisconsin would not be considered historic, even though the bridge won an award in 1992 for an outstanding engineering project in Wisconsin. However, it is a true gem of northern Wisconsin.

Located on Rustic Road 105 in Price County, Wisconsin, the 94 foot long Smith Rapids Covered Bridge is a nice and easy diversion off of Wisconsin State Trunk Highway 70 and is adjacent to the Smith Rapids Recreation Area. Heading down the rustic road from WIS 70, you will soon encounter the only glue laminated covered bridge in all of Wisconsin. This bridge is built in a Town Lattice covered bridge design with its diamond shaped truss pattern, first patented…

Old US Route 101 in King City and the 1903 Southern Pacific Railroad Depot

This past month I visited King City of Monterey County and the 1903 Southern Pacific Railroad Depot located in San Lorenzo Park.  My visit to King City got me interested in plotting out the history of US Route 101 within the community.



The history of US Route 101 in King City

King City is a small City in Salinas Valley of southern Monterey County.  King City had been settled in 1884 after Charles King acquired 13,000 acres of land from what was Rancho San Lorenzo.  King City was originally known as Hog Town and was plotted as a large ranching community.  By 1886 King City had a stop on the Southern Pacific Railroad and Post Office Service began in 1887.  The Post Office adopted the name "King City" and the community began to grow approaching the start of the 20th Century.  King City became large enough that the Southern Pacific Railroad constructed a large depot in 1903 which was located near the intersection of 1st Street and Broadway Street.  The 1903 Southern Pacific Railr…

Say It Ain't So! No more free OJ or Grapefruit Juice at Florida Welcome Centers

Our family travels to Florida pretty much on average once a year.  And it is tradition - though my wife will say otherwise - for us to stop at the Florida Welcome Center on Interstate 95.  For decades, visitors on either Interstate 10, 75, or 95 entering the Sunshine State would be treated to a fee sample of Florida Orange or Grapefruit Juice.

So imagine our surprise when we stopped at the Interstate 95 Welcome Center and saw the sign below.


Budget cuts to both the Department of Citrus and Visit Florida are the reason for the removal.

The decades old tradition first began along US 17 in Yulee when the state opened their first "hospitality house" in 1949.  Since then, millions of visitors, young and old, have enjoyed their complimentary glass of juice.  A fitting welcome to the Sunshine State.

Unfortunately, over the last decade, budget issues have threatened - and at least as of February 2020 - and brought the unique show of Florida hospitality to a stop.   First, in 2015, t…

Locans, California ghost town site

This February I stopped at the site of the abandoned railroad siding known as Locans in eastern Fresno County.


Locans was a railroad sidings of the Southern Pacific Railroad spur line known as the Stockton & Tulare Railroad.  Locans was located on what is now Temperance Avenue just south of Bulter Avenue.  The Stockton & Tulare Railroad was completed in 1887 but it doesn't appear that Locans was one of the original sidings.  Locans doesn't appear on the 1889 George F. Cram Railroad map of California but nearby Butler does.


The first reference to Locans I can find is on the 1891 Thompson Atlas of Fresno County.  A large parcel of land next to the Stockton & Tulare Railroad can be seen east of of Butler owned by F. Locan.  Locan's land holdings surround a small siding known as Minneola which was about a half mile east of where the site of Locans would eventually be plotted.


Locan's property appears again on the Stockton & Tulare Railroad between Butler an…