Continuing with some common and obscure names given the local roads and streets over the past century and a half:
Cable Road, in Camino, has its northern termination where T. H. McEwan built the famous cable tramway across the canyon of the South Fork of the American River. Over this tramway was transported the lumber from a mill at Pino Grande to Camino.
Caldor Road, east of Somerset, is named for a mill town built by the California Door Company. From there the Diamond & Caldor Railway carried rough lumber to the planing mills in Diamond Springs.
Carson Road, Carson Creek and Carson Canyon are likely named for the famous early explorer, Kit Carson, a scout for another famous explorer, John C. Fremont. His brother, Bob Carson, was a resident of this county and once owned a major portion of Buck’s Bar Road.
Placerville’s Center Street, or Centre Street, was so called because it divided a portion of the city. At one time, it was called Maiden Lane, because of type of businesses located there. It is now Stagecoach Alley, in honor of Davey “Doc” Weiser, who on holidays gives free rides to the public in his stagecoach.
The many Cemetery and Church streets throughout the county were named for the churches and cemeteries to which they led.
Most early towns had a Main Street, a North Street and South Street (or East and West streets), a School Street, a Church Street and a Cemetery Street.
Church Mine Road, south of the town of El Dorado, is named because it led not to a church but to a very rich mine by that name.
The Church Mine, and nearby Union Mine would later be consolidated into the Springfield mine, where there would be installed a forty stamp, water powered mill that was reported to have been not only heard but felt a great distance away.
Coloma Road is one of the typical early roads that indicated it was a main road leading to another community.
Usually roads such as this would be hyphenated to something like Placerville-Coloma Road. From the other end at Coloma, it would be known as Coloma-Placerville Road. Examples of this naming system can be found throughout California and the rest of the country.
D’Agostini Drive, near Mt. Aukum, is named for the D’Agostini family that settled there in the 1800s. For a while part of the family raised turkeys, across Mt. Aukum Road from D’Agostini’s Lake. Just as a note, there is another D’Agostini family that settled in the Shenandoah Valley portion of Amador County and owned D’Agostini Winery.
Darn Steep Road, another interestingly named road in our county, is exactly that.
Davidson Road, may be named after Thomas Davidson, an early settler who once owned a dwelling in Diamond Springs that was destroyed in the fire of 1856. He unsuccessfully ran for District Attorney in 1876.
Digger Pine Road, which exists in both Deer Park and Rescue, was named after the very common, grey-green pine tree that grows in the dryer parts of El Dorado County, usually below 3000 feet. The nuts from this pine were part of the diet of the Native Americans, who were called “diggers” by the first white settlers, after their habit of digging for roots and bulbs. The tree is now called a Grey or Bull Pine, since the word Digger has become politically incorrect.
Dogwood Lane, which exists in at least four parts of our county is named for the Dogwood tree that majestically blooms in the early spring. Winter “officially” ends in El Dorado County when it snows on the open dogwood blossoms – just ask any old-timer.
Durock Road, in the Shingle Springs and Cameron Park area was once a part of the Carson – Immigrant Road and later Highway 50. It is probably a phonetic spelling for DuRoc, the name of a family that owned an early inn along this road. There is a plaque on the road at the site of the inn. There is also a metro station in Paris named DuRoc.
Easterly Road, in Diamond Springs, is named for Lon Easterly, a developer in this area (There is also a Lon Court nearby).
Eight Mile Road, near Camino is named for the Eight Mile House, an early stop for immigrants, freight wagons and travelers along what is now Highway 50.
Empire Creek Trail and Circle, along with the Empire Mine, Mill, Ravine and Theater, are named for Empire County, an early nickname for El Dorado County. If fact, one of the early newspapers in Coloma was the Empire County Argus.
Eureka, as in Eureka Street, is from the Latin word meaning “I have found it.” It is the motto of the State of California.
Excelsior Road and Court, near Big Cut Road, south of Placerville, are named for the Excelsior Mine which was formerly known as Coon Hollow, one of the most prosperous mining camps in California.
Sources for this story include: “Atlas of California,” by Donley, Allan, Caro and Patton (1979); “California Gold Camps,” by Erwin Gudde (1975); “California Place Names,” by Erwin Gudde, 3rd Edition (1974); “Mother Lode of Learning – One Room Schools of El Dorado County,” by the Retired Teachers Association of El Dorado County (1990); “I Remember…, Stories and pictures of El Dorado County pioneer families,” researched and written by Betty Yohalem (1977); “History of El Dorado County,” by Paolo Sioli (1883), reprinted and indexed by the El Dorado Friends of the Library (1998) and numerous early California newspapers.