Letter from Barbara Turrell, long time resident of Cascadel
April 6, 1992
Dear Mrs. Schwafel,

In the February newsletter you mentioned compiling a history of Cascadel, and l thought the enclosed photocopy might be of interest to you. It comes from a history of the area which a history teacher friend purchased when we all visited Mariposa about 3-4 years ago. I will try to get the title from him --it may very well be in any of your local libraries up there.

For what they're worth, I'd also like to add my own recollections of Cascadel from the time my folks first purchased our lot, in 1956/7, and of the old buildings that were still standing at that time. The bridge across the creek by the lodge had much taller side-rails, made of thin logs with the bark still on, in a design of several large triangles with a long crossbar going along the top of them. The lodge(clubhouse) had a small lean-to at the right side of it, as you face it from the creek, in which was a cider press. There was a lovely grapevine growing over a rounded wooden frame in front of this little room, making a nice arch to walk under.

Turning, left from the creek along the road, there was a store building at the left side of the road, approximately in the area that Dr. Carter's(now Heisig's) large open lawn and gazebo stands, but more toward the center of the present road. The road went about 20 feet to the right, over a small bridge affair, where those two boulders and all the brambles now stand, then came around the curve as it does today. Where the Carter(Heisig) house stands was at least one, and maybe two, of the old ranch workers' cabins, Cabin 14, with the number still on it. No one regretted its being torn down when Alton Looney built the house, as it was pretty delapidated at the time.

Cabin 10(Pucci) was the house my folks rented from Basil Robinson while our house was being built, and though it was very rustic at that time, it was in good repair. The barn was filled with all sorts of fascinating 19th century farm equipment, all crammed inside, and obviously not touched for ages. I don't know what happened to it, perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Pucci might have heard from Mr. Sibley, the previous owner; I just recall that there were all kinds of big and little pieces of equipment all jumbled together in the dimness, some tools hanging on the walls, some wheeled items, and all very, very old.

Going back to the store, it was very weathered, and still had writing on the front. Looking into the windows, you could see shelf upon shelf of preserves in glass jars, cans and bottles of other foods, tools, every kind of thing, and all of it just like a little museum, not touched for years, just sitting there waiting for cutomers who didn't come any more. It was there until about 1960, I think.

In the ravine, quite close to where the intersection of Cascadel Lane and Cascadel Drive is, were the weathered remains of chicken coops. There were also quite a few old grapevines along the ravine. The plum trees, which have been revealed since Mr. Cornett removed the pines, have now seeded themselves thickly all along the edges of the ravine. I mention them not because they are so historic, but perhaps the Association might want to try an experiment with making a community plum orchard from the seeds of the fruit, or from seedlings, (with Mr. Cornett's permission, of course), as long ago we used to make wonderful jam from these little plums. There are red, yellow, (sort of like Santa, Rosas), and purple (like Damsons), especially at the tip of the ravine, where the two roads meet, and perhaps with cultivation, this variety might produce larger fruit. Walking along Cascadel lane last year, l believe I saw one or two of the old grape vines again, perhaps something could be done with cuttings, for these make a sort of concord grape, if I recall.

Anyway, 1 hope some of this is helpful, and your history should make good reading!
Yours sincerely,
Barbara Turrell
Glendale, California

P.S. The lodge also had 1900-1920 vintage wooden lawn furniture; 3-4 chairs, & 2-3 settees/lounges in the lawn between the trees, enclosed by large logs about 18" diameter





In 1877, C. E. Strivens extended the road beyond North Fork about three miles to what is now Cascadel. He opened a store and sold a few groceries, cheap clothing and lots of whiskey. The nearby creek had been called Alder Creek until that time, but the Indians changed it to Whiskey Creek, the name that it retains to this day.

In 1884, the Peckinpah Lumber Mill was established about three miles beyond, on Peckinpah Mountain, giving the store additional customers.

Cascadel became noted in the late 1890's for a patent medicine, "Cascade Oil," which promised cures for 31 ailments, ranging from pains in the side to asthma, and from boils to cholera.

Although it is at an elevation of 3,000 feet, it was noted for its excellent apple orchard and truck gardens, which featured exceptionally good corn. Some of the apple trees still remain in a small golf course that is part of a development of recreation homes. It had a post office from August 25, 1892 until May 21, 1896.








Cascadel Pines is an old resort and golf course that was established as a recreation business in the late 1960's on outlots from 3 subdivisions. The ownership to the recreation business was retained by Cascadel Ranch Inc. for a recreation business. The business was not successful and certain of the property owners tried to operate the facilities and golf course for a number of months. This effort also failed and the improvements were closed to the public in the early 1970's. An effort was made by the owners to lease the property to the(Teddy Bear)R.V. people in 1973. This brought about a court action by certain of the neighbors. A court order was rendered disallowing ar R.V. Park. The judge left Cascadel Ranch, Inc. at liberty to choose any other recreational use. The improvements were not reopened to the public. Cascadel Ranch, Inc. sold the property in 1979 to Dr. & Mrs. R. L. Moon & Children.

The old lodge building was constructed in the late 1930's and has been used as a chapel, residence and clubhouse by the former owners. It has conduit wiring, a septic system that is operating, a restroom, a large kitchen facility fully furnished, and two large rooms, one app. 400 sq. ft. and the other app. 200 sq. ft..

Building #2 is a Pool shower building with separate accommodations for ladies and men. In each half of the building are found 2 commodes, 2 handbasins, 2 showers, and eight private dressing rooms. There is 75 gallon water heater, and storage areas.

The Pool holds app. 100,000 gallons of water, has a filtering plant, and a propane pool heater. The intent is to develop a steam room and solar heating panels and circulating system for fuel efficiency.

There are app. 200 very old apple trees that still bear fruit. Some new trees will need to be planted to make the recreation business financially solvent. The agricultural activity is necessary to the financial success of the operation.

There will be a full-time caretaker during the summer months and a part time caretaker during the school months. The facilities will be open afternoons, seven days a week in the summer and Saturdays and Sundays during the school year. When the pool is operating, there will be a lifeguard on duty. Group use of the facilities will be possible with prior reservations throughout the year. The major structures and some parking areas are already available. Some additional parking & solar heating are planned for the summer of 1984. New recreational equipment will be added when financially possible.

The main recreational uses are identified on the map. There will be other incidental uses; i.e. fishing, hiking, bicycling, table games, sale of some supplies, children's play areas, & perhaps occasional horseback riding.