Big Valley Toll Road


Big Toll Road
This hand drawn map, was made part of the company’s Articles of Incorporation.

In 1870, when gold was discovered at Hayden Hill, it was only a matter of time for some enterprising entrepreneurs to come up with plan to make money on this new gold rush. In this case it was John Watts, David Watson and Benjamin Neuhaus. On April 24, 1871, they incorporated as the Big Valley Toll Road Company. The road would begin at the Neuhaus’ ranch (Murrer) in Willow Creek Valley, then north along Eagle Lake, Grasshopper Valley to Hayden City, then to Hayden Hill with a terminus near Adin. These “dreamers” hoped to raise $40,000 in stock to finance their endeavor. While the concept on paper had merit, in reality it was doomed to failure, as it was already an established road. In 1875, the Lassen County Board of Supervisors declared the route as a public thoroughfare. Portions of the original route would eventually become part of State Highway 139.

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