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Whiskey Hill or Woodside?

Although the name "Whiskey Hill" occasionally appeared in the Northern Mines, the only surviving town named Whiskey Hill (now renamed Woodside) is located in San Mateo County.

By the late 1800s there wore fifteen sawmills within five miles of "Tripp's Woodside Store" and over one thousand lumberjacks received their dentistry, mail, supplies, and whiskey from Doc Tripp until he died, in 1909. Today, the store, at the corner of Kings Mountain and Tripp Roads, belongs to the San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Division.

With the growth of the San Mateo County wood-related industry, serving San Francisco and Alviso via barges and ships from the Redwood (City) Embarcadero and other locations via teamsters, the commercial center moved from the Tripp Woodside Store to about one and one-half miles east (toward San Francisco Bay) to the area called Whiskey Hill. It got that name because of the three saloons and two hotels, one run by Peter Hanson. Those enterprises, plus a blacksmith shop, had been created to supply the demand at that busy crossroads.

...as teamsters drove wheeled wagon-loads of milled lumber from those local San Mateo County mills to the Redwood (City) Embarcadero, they regularly stopped at Whiskey Hill (after a haul of from two to four miles) to fortify themselves for the downhill pull (of six or seven miles) into the Redwood Embarcadero or south, toward Santa Clara and San Jose.

Today, Whiskey Hill is lively and thriving, with the
Pioneer Saloon still vending and pouting spirituous elixir. The Woodside Town Center, including Independence Hall (1886), and many other businesses flourish at that historic intersection, which is today part of "Downtown Woodside."

The lumber camp and town of Searsville is marked by SRL No. 474, located at the intersection of Portola and Sand Hill Roads, near the western terminus of the Stanford Linear Accelerator. John Sears settled there in 1854, and the camp grew into a town with a hotel, school, store, blacksmith, and both tent and wooden dwellings. The town was dismantled in 1891 to make way for the rising, dammed waters of Searsville Lake on Stanford lands. Sears also pioneered the first road (Old La Honda Road) over the Santa Cruz Range and founded the town of La Honda in 1861.

Finally, history-loving locals from southern San Mateo County and Palo Alto/Stanford still say "Whiskey Gulch" when they refer to the commercial area of University Avenue, north, across San Francisquito Creek in San Mateo county. The area got its name about 1900, when Jane Lathrop Stanford's will demanded that "no alcohol" be served within one mile of the Stanford Campus. Her will, however, was filed in Santa Clara County and did not hold sway in San Mateo County. Bars, saloons, and liquor stores flourish there to this day even though the anti-liquor provision of Jane Stanford's will was overturned in the 1970s. Hail progress!

Renaissance man DEKE SONNICHSEN is a world-renowned balloonist and pilot examiner, anvil-firer, X Noble Grand Humbug of Yerba Buena #1 E Clampsus Vitus, and chair of the board that advises the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on historic resources.
From: http://www.paulrich.net/students/readings/california_gold_rush/california_gold_05.html



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