Walking Waterhoods: Sausal Creek - Palo Seco


Oakland, California 94607, United States

Created By: Wholly H2O


As early as the 1820s, the Dimond Canyon region was given by the Spanish occupiers to the Peralta family, and after some ten years, the San Antonio region of the canyon became part of Antonio Maria Peralta’s Asset. This portion of the canyon became a lucrative attraction for lumberers as it was rich in redwoods, and thus the first two lumbermen began cutting and selling these timbers from San Antonio in 1841. The construction of the Palo Seco Mill was also initiated during this time to facilitate the transportation of those lumber materials. It was suspected that the mill could be located on today’s Joaquin Miller Court uphill from Mountain Boulevard, yet the true location of such facility could no longer be precisely spotted. The natural possession of a downhill riptide gave this early mill strong powers to transport the lumbers down the creek, and thus attracted the lumber tycoon Henry Meiggs’s attention for he bought over the mill in 1849 and led his “lumbermen army” into the woods latter that year.
The timber business in the Sausal area began to grow, some legally yet with some others involving trespassing the Peralta territories, and more mills began to appear in the region. East of the Palo Seco mill in the Midredwood region, over 5 mills began their constructions following the increasing need for lumber transportation. The Thomas and William Prince brothers operated those mills and their majority are located around today’s Stream Trail and Tres Sendas Trail in the Redwood Region Park. The brothers acquired the region through a school warrant system introduced to them by the local homesteaders, and as lumber prices soared in 1852 due to the development of San Francisco city, the brothers constructed the Prince Mill and by 1856, their contiguous redwood forest was almost depleted.

The transportation of those timbers was also an important part of regional history. The millers were the main people responsible for the construction of those roads, and tracks for ox carts and skid roads could be found commonly in Dimon Cayon, Sausal creek. These earliest roads went up to the Palo Seco mill from where the contemporary Park Boulevard and Thirteenth Avenue locates. A road connecting Prince Mill to Castro valley was also built by Contra Costa county in 1852, and four years later other roads connecting other mills to Castro valley also joined the Prince’s road.

Descending down Park Boulevard, which was previously used as a logging path for the Palo Seco Mill, there locates the canyon region that was purchased by Hugh Dimond in 1867 and therefore inherited the name - Diamond canyon - ever since. Hugh Dimond was one of the benefitted Gold Rusher during Gold Rush, gained his fortune, and settled in this canyon region in the 1860s.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Walking Waterhoods: Sausal Creek - Palo Seco


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