John & Angelo Discuss the mysterious “Kablooies” of 1900

To catch up, please read John Vonderlin’s post, click here

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Angelo is Angelo Misthos. You can read his posts by clicking here


Angelo to John

Thanks, John, for your reply and attachments.

You’re right that the big bang was not the Saddle Rock cut in view of the time.  Since the big blast was undoubtedly at a point between Palmer Gulch and near San Gregorio beach–the grading from Tunitas to Palmer Gulch seemed already to have been done–I’m making an alternative guess that since the enormous quantity of 65,000 yards of material was moved, the OS (Ocean Shore RR) might have brought down a wide section of bluff, casting it outward toward the beach and allowing a roadbed to be built on it.

The hydraulically sluiced start of a cut north of the S.G. parking lot lines up with a continuation of the ledge cut along the bluffs south of Palmer Gulch, but not yet done immediately north of S.G. beach.  My guess is the sluicing was a trial by the OS that lent itself to that specific terrain. I can’t see what other function the sluiced cut would have.

Someday, hopefully I’ll get to the San Francisco Library reference desk and check out the 1911 OS Bondholders Report to see if that’s where I learned of it. Re the 12/17/03 article connecting San Mateo and the coast, I don’t know what to make of it, especially since it indicates materials were at hand and work was starting. Maybe since a Southern Pacific crossing was mentioned this was some kind of “feeler” the “Octopus” (read Southern Pacific) put out. Interesting.  Angelo


John to Angelo

. Thanks for the info on the “sluice” channel. I hadn’t noticed that it seems too big for the limited runoff the hill would contribute. I’ll check it out soon and include parts of your letter in a future story about it after some research if it is alright?

I’ve got several Newspaper Archive articles about other railroads that were planned for the coast, up Pescadero Creek and to Big Basin, one of which might explain the 10 mile shorter route mention you made. Not one from the 1800’s mentions a tunnel between Pomponio and Pescadero. I’ll attach them to this letter and write stories about them soon. Lotta dreams for this area that never materialized.


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