COARSEGOLD – A close-up look into the history of the real west is presented on a six-hour bus tour through eastern Madera County as the Stage Route Tour embarks on its bi-annual trek.
The bus leaves the Coarsegold Historic Museum at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 18, and travels along historic routes, stopping at an old mining town, a native roundhouse, an historic village and then heads back to Coarsegold for an informative and fun-filled walking tour.The extravaganza known as the Stage Route Tour costs $40 per person, with a $5 discount for museum members. The event, sponsored by the Coarsegold Historical Society, takes place traditionally on the 3rd Saturday in May and October. The next Stage Route Tour will be Saturday, October 19.
The excursion takes travelers back through the historic country of eastern Madera County, with running commentary throughout the trip from the local tour leaders, spinning tales and talking about the people and areas of interest. Tour guides are locals who have lived in the area all their lives.
From its start at the museum, the bus heads west on Road 415 with a stop and visit in Knowles, home of the Raymond Granite Quarry. The town is also the location of the second oldest bar in California, the Hills Pride Inn, which dates back to the early 1900s and whose liquor license was runner-up to first in the state.
In Raymond, folks relive the history of the old train and stage travel to Yosemite National Park. The tour resumes traveling Road 600, where Teddy Roosevelt rode the stage to the Park in 1903.
After stopping at the site of the once-bustling mining town Grub Gulch, the group continues to the Ahwahnee Wassama Roundhouse for lunch and a lecture about the area’s native Indian tribes.
Next, it’s on to Fresno Flats Historical Park in Oakhurst and then a bumpy ride on old wagon roads back to Coarsegold.
Following a short walking tour in Coarsegold, the party winds up back at the museum at 3 p.m. for a special beverage and dessert.
Sounds like a perfect day for the historically minded and those who are just looking to kick up a little dirt under their feet.
Call the Coarsegold Historic Museum at 559 642-4448 or Ken at 559 658-8631 for more information.
The museum is located at 31899 Hwy 41 in Coarsegold.