Gasquet Toll Road costs 25 cents

March 26, 2007 11:00 pm

Triplicate staff

Horace Gasquet, a French immigrant seeking gold in northern California, arrived in Crescent City in 1855.

The businessman changed his plans to instead serve miners already living in the region. Gasquet bought 320 acres and set up a village with a hotel, bar, stores, winery and blacksmith shop more than 15 miles from Crescent City, according to historical information from the National Park Service.

He also decided to build a toll road connecting Crescent City to Waldo, Ore. Chinese Americans completed the Gasquet Toll Road between 1881 and 1886.

The 23-mile road would cost a man and a horse $1 to cross, according to travel Website Gorp.com. Pedestrian and pack animals cost 25 cents each, sheep and hogs cost 6 cents and horse and cattle cost 12 cents. A one-horse vehicle paid $2.75.

One of Gasquet's ads, included in A.J. Bledsoe's "Del Norte County" book, touted his resort and access to it in a bid to attract tourists for the summer. It featured trout and salmon fishing, along with deer and bear hunting and quail, pigeon and pheasant shooting.

"This place can be reached from San Francisco by Railroad, via Grants Pass, Or., or by steamer, via Crescent City, Cal.," the ad stated.