Where Did That Road Name Come From? – R

Rancheria Court and Drive are associated with the Shingle Springs Rancheria, a large parcel of land purchased by the government around 1920 for a group of Native Americans who at the time were residing near a place called Verona, on the Sacramento River. After sitting vacant for some time, the Rancheria is now has homes and the RedHawk Casino.

Rattlesnake Bar Road is named for early mining camps along the forks of the American River. At one of them, probably the one on the Middle Fork of the American River that is the boundary between El Dorado and Placer counties, resided one Richard H. Barter, alias “Rattlesnake Dick.” We are told he was an honest miner who was later “led astray”.

Ray Lawyer Drive, which serves the County Government Center, is named for Raymond E. Lawyer, a well liked professional forester and rancher in the Coloma area who served as a member of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors during the 1960s and 70s. Ray Lawyer passed away shortly after the new government center was dedicated in 1977 and the road was named in his honor. One outside wall of the main building at the government center is covered with rock from a quarry on his property.

Redbud Lane gets its name from the native California Redbud (Cercis occidentalis). Each spring thousands of them “bud” in a gorgeous red color, most easily seen along the freeway in the area between Shingle Springs and Cameron Park.

The word Reservoir is a common road name for the several roads that do, or did lead to a reservoir created for domestic or mining purposes.

Ricci Road, in the Greenwood area, is named for an early settler, Felix Ricci. Mr. Ricci, a cabinetmaker by trade, originally arrived in California in mid-1849, settling in Tuolumne County were he worked as a miner. In 1854 he went back to his native Italy but returned to California one year later, this time working as a storekeeper, first in American Flat and later in Greenwood. He and his wife, Eliza Delat, raised seven children in Greenwood.

The misspelled Ringold Road is found in a area just east of Diamond Springs formerly known as Ringgold. This town, the location of which still shows up on maps, was most likely named for U. S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Cadwalader Ringgold (1802-1867).

Lieutenant Commander Ringgold arrived with Lieutenant Charles Wilkes on the first U.S. exploring expedition in the Pacific in 1841. He commanded the U.S.S. Porpoise and led a survey party mapping the Sacramento River as far as Colusa, and also parts of San Francisco Bay.
There is also a Ringgold Creek, Ringgold Creek Canyon and Ringgold Ranch in El Dorado County, and a Ringgold Street in San Francisco.

Ringtail Road gets its name from a native animal, the Ring-tail (Bassariscus astutus), often called the Ringtail Cat or Miner’s Cat because the early settlers “domesticated” them to keep the rodents away from the cabins. A relative of the raccoon, it is nocturnal by nature and rarely seen. It has a drab brown body with a large bushy tail that has alternating black and white rings from which it gets its name.

Robert J. Matthews Parkway, in the El Dorado Hills Business Park, was named for the founder of Cable Data, one of the first businesses to locate there.

Rock Creek Road, one of the two roads serving the Mosquito/Swansboro area, is named for one of the major tributaries of the South Fork of the American River that it crosses, Rock Creek.

Roller Coaster Road is a name of only one road in El Dorado County, but it could easily be applied to many local roads.

Rose Springs Lane refers to the early community of Rose Springs, which is now called Rescue.

On the south side of the Overland Trail (Green Valley Road) stood the Rose Springs house which was built by one Thomas Wood as a stage station. In 1862 John William Hodgkins purchased the property and added a general store. In 1863 it passed into the hands of Alfred P. Grainer and in 1870, to Jacob Egger (Eggers?). In 1880 Egger built his residence on the 200 acre Rose Springs Ranch, across the road (north) from the original place. The Rose Springs House is said to have been a stop for the Pony Express, although there is no hard evidence to substantiate that belief.

Rubicon Drive, Road and Trail refer to the Rubicon River, a tributary of the Middle Fork of the American River that is a portion of the boundary between El Dorado and Placer counties. This, of course, is not the same Rubicon River that Gaius Julius Caesar stood in front of some 2000 years ago, faced with the choice to cross and start a war or remain bound by mediocrity, but simply a namesake.

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); “History of El Dorado County,” by Paolo Sioli (1883), reprinted and indexed by the El Dorado Friends of the Library (1998); the Mountain Democrat, 1854-present; the Empire County Argus (Coloma), 1853-1856; the Californian (Monterey), 1846-47; the California Star (1847-48) and the Alta California (San Francisco), 1849-1850.

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