Forbidden Universe

Paranormal => The Paranormal & Ghost Society => Topic started by: AngelOfThyCosmos on April 05, 2019, 10:23:29 AM

Title: Our Mohawk Valley Expedition In Graeagle California Report On 3-31-19
Post by: AngelOfThyCosmos on April 05, 2019, 10:23:29 AM
Our Mohawk Valley Expedition In Graeagle California Report On 3-31-19

My love for the Portola pass along the Feather River the past couple years has grown greatly. While it may not be the highest pass in the sierras it is one of the most beautiful full of great views, scenic rivers, nature and little wholesome railroading towns along the way. If I were young again and raising a family it would be the Mohawk Valley id choose to live out my days. These small towns are full of history, scenic views, wholesome living and isolation from the rest of the worlds drama.

As a paranormal investigator I have spent at least half my life chasing down the truth. But when you come face to face with bigfoot, aliens and ghost it sort of leaves me with the joy of just uncovering history since I have experienced in my years so much that others have not gotten to I am a lucky man. Being were not just a paranormal group I was looking forward to explorations within Vinton Cemetery, Mohawk Cemetery, Graeagle and White Sulphur Springs Ranch.

It truly is an amazing area these are trips my son will remember even after I am long gone. But these are trips I get to share with all of you to and my friends can be a part of it even from afar. I probably will be returning in a couple weeks to video record the Mohawk Mill and two ghost towns we photographed two years ago. So its just another thing to keep an eye on but ill tell you what these little towns have great wild western history including the cemeteries that they boast if you take a time out to venture into them.

We would stop in the morning for breakfast sandwiches, coffee and anything else we could fuel up on. We were in for a great day with highs of 70 so I finally had a green light to go into the pass. A few weeks ago that would not have been the case due to snowfall. But when the passes are clear you can hit all these little towns each one with ghost stories, history and endless adventure. The type of places I go are the type you can dangle your legs over a bridge sit back and day dream. With spring here this really would be our first Spring endeavor so we wanted to bring our viewers something awesome.

It was a brisk morning people tend to forget even if it gets to 60 during the day in the high sierras the mornings are in the 20s so it was cold but eventually we would arrive at our first destination known as Vinton Cemetery.

Vinton Cemetery

I have been trying to visit this cemetery for about two years now. Just as you enter the Beckwourth Pass you will see this little graveyard out in the middle of nowhere with not a single tree in site. It resides in a small community known as Vinton which was a century ago one of the largest Swiss Dairy Farm settlements in the state of California. Less then a mile away is another small community known as Chilcoot which also boast a cemetery on a hill so in sense people consider this cemetery its sister burial ground.

For some reason this cemetery gets plenty of attention I have not figured why but other urban explorers like going up here to take photos. I guess you can say its somewhat scenic and not far from a road that goes up to this lake were camping on this spring and where we found bigfoot tracks. But the cemetery itself is more high desert then anything. Last time I stood at its gates a bad winter storm was approaching with 60mph hour winds so we skipped it and ended up going out to Boomtown and Mel's Diner. This time around it was a quiet morning and the sun was warming things up fast so we had a green light.

Jarrod stayed in the truck while Tammy and I came on out for about an hour to take photos. I run EVP, Video and do readings to. For awhile there I was getting some solid readings. No power lines nearby like I said the place sits in the middle of the desert with cliffs, mountains even forest afar but there is nothing around it. When you first pull up there is this big wrought iron archway that says Vinton Cemetery then to the left a granite slab which has some history about the Swiss settlers that came here its really nice.

There is about four aisles of graves here most of them are just little stone slabs or flat stones rather. But if you study the cemetery you will find a few really gorgeous statues, a few masons and some earlier pioneer stones throughout. But there also was a recently dug grave we found which signifies they still are using the cemetery here. Most people visit here for its angel statues and there are a few like I said which is why the cemetery seems to gather the interest from others.

Tammy was trying out her new camera I was just doing the EVP and video recording. We do good work together and we have a certain way of doing things to get the most out of a cemetery like this. The pass sits at about 5k just down the road is Whispering Pines Cemetery across from freed slave James Beckwourth's trading post so lots of little history in this area. The trading post along with a ghost town resides just down the street from here. Also across from the road is railroad tracks which are heavily used today trains come through here all the time from Verdi Reno area through the pass.

Its just a very quaint little place whether its haunted that is another story. I use to visit places like these 2am but over the past eight years I have grown to enjoy my early morning cemetery jaunts so I can enjoy the scenery such cemeteries offer to our viewers. At night you might see the graves but do you really see the graves? So hopefully we get a good EVP here its always first on my list besides now and then getting that occasional apparition photo. The sun was heating up face rising to the east shining down the pass we wrapped it up and begin our trek up to the Mohawk Valley. While on my way up there I seen in a field a large herd of antelope playing and running in circles. I just love being up in this part of California its magical it truly is!

Mohawk Valley Cemetery

The Mohawk Valley was composed of three saw milling towns dating back to the 1800's. There also was a mining town nearby which today is a semi ghost town we did which we are returning to soon with a mill named the Mohawk. This is a beautiful valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks and the river runs through it. I love it up here its just so whole homes with white picket fences, small farms, horses grazing in pastures, woods everywhere, little towns with historic sites etc.

The cemetery serves the town of Mohawk and Graeagle really at least most of the folks buried here spent there lives living in this valley. Its a bit tricky finding this place because its just this little steep forested road up to the top of this hill so its very easy to miss the turn off. But nailed to a tree at the bottom of the hill is a little wood sign with the words painted on it Mohawk Cemetery.

When you get to the top of the hill this narrow strip about fifty feed wide and a couple hundred feet long opens up in the middle of the Plumas National Forest. At the very end of the other end of the cemetery is this giant expanse which overlooks the valley, woodsy snowy peaks and the Feather River below. t the front gate of the cemetery is this small little archway you walk through, flag pole and a granite slab which says Mohawk Cemetery with the earliest interment date engraved on it.

I love this place not sure what it is maybe the isolation I mean nobody really comes up here many of the graves found here are prominent families who ran businesses in towns like Graeagle or were lumber man. Mohawk was more of a lumbering settlement then a mining one really and these families came here to live in small cabins while the husbands worked long hours working at the mills or sawing down the trees. Two prominent families buried here were the Sutton's and King families which are towards the back of the cemetery.

The cemetery is a bit odd almost every grave plot is connected by stone pebbles or rocks side by side three rows back. You cannot even access certain graves without having to walk over rocks because the plots are so close. One plot creates another plot and each grave site is outlined with these stones. It seems like newer interments were buried much closely together perhaps because space was running out. Meanwhile when you get about half way into the cemetery you have large open areas where there are no graves or at least they are unmarked more then likely.

As a matter in fact the middle of the cemetery has a few scattered graves most of them are very old but also very nicely engraved. The oldest stones can be found in the middle of the cemetery. Keep in mind there is only one aisle which goes down this rectangular strip of open land in the woods while on each side of the aisle it goes a few rows back of graves on each side.

This is a really quiet place if you listen you can hear the Feather River below you can see it to if you visit the Sutton Plot and look below the hill the cemetery is on. I told my son I could picture Sasquatch running along the bank of the river it actually looks like an area out of the bluff creek bigfoot footage. A few of the peaks beyond it had snow on them. The area is so densely forested also its hard to know what is out there because most of those peaks surrounding the valley remain unexplored and there is no trails to those remote areas.

My son vanished for awhile he decided to sneak up on me with a hammer so if you see video footage of him carrying a hammer its not to smash gravestones its because he thought he would scare me. Well it did not work out to well I turned around found him hiding behind a stone frozen and I was like hey son lol. He enjoys trying to scare me at home and even when we go out lately. It usually backfires on him though lol I can think of scarier things in these woods then my son jumping out at me.

I did get a few EMF readings up here its such a quiet cemetery in nature. There was some vandalism to some of the stones but it was minimal. Although the entire center of the cemetery is just bare so I am sure there are many unmarked graves. There is the Sutton Monument to which is the tallest gravestone in the cemetery. All in all this is a really nice place many pioneer stones here of the folks who came to this valley to make lives for themselves some ranchers, others miners or farmers.

I did manage to visit downtown Mohawk well its not much of a town but the old creepy hotel stills stands and tavern. Their was also some old wood cabins and a what may have been the blacksmith. Downtown is real quaint but most the structures are dilapidated. The old hotel would be an amazing exploration problem is its boarded up and there is simply to many locals around to even have a gander with all sorts of no trespassing signs everywhere. Sutton's Hotel was open in the 1870's it was a stage stop people probably played poker here including some miners and other travelers who were making there way to Johntown or one of the other nearby small towns.

I read that a fire swept through the area burned part of the hotel down then it ran up the hill nearby to the cemetery and burned down all the wood grave markers. This is why there are hardly any graves or markers in the center of the cemetery because the center would have been considered the pioneer section which at the time wood crosses would have been used. I read there are historic homes worth seeing in Mohawk from back in the day but I did not see any then again my main focus was to visit the hotel and the cemetery on the hill behind it. We would then proceed to explore old Graeagle which is  the largest town in the region.

Graeagle California

I have spent years hearing about great hikes, bigfoot encounters and other cool events associated with the Graeagle area. Its the largest town in the Mohawk Valley as a matter in fact it was a large lumbering town and all its cabins that lumberers resided in today are small little stores and shops. The West family today owns most of the town because back in the day 13k along with the ghost town were up for sale so the family purchased the entire area which was a steal. Today its a small town that boast antiques, community events and even horseback riding.

I try to visit every year so many ghost towns to semi ghost towns Graeagle has been at the top of my list for awhile. Its so close to another nearby town called Blairsden which we drove through and is very historic. But as I passed through Blairsden I did see a pizza place we would keep in mind for later. This is a small little town along the Feather River lots of little farms, downtown always bustling and its quiet perhaps even crimeless really because I never did see a single cop out this way.

My first stop in Graeagle would be at the old dairy this is a stone building and they would milk the cows here bottle it up then deliver it on the doorsteps of the families of the lumberman. The men would work all day ten hour shifts while the women stayed home to do laundry, cook and take care of the kids. The dairy is one of the most significant sites in Graeagle best part of it is that it is abandoned so not only did I get to investigate it but urban explore the inside as well.

I parked up at the Feather River Bridge even the bridge has a series of historical stories as through the years its been replaced even washed away. My son and I hung out on the feather river for awhile and on the bridge. Problem is its a single lane bridge so its very tight and every time a vehicle goes by you barely have enough room between you, the vehicle and the railings to the bridge. The river was flowing nice all the dang snow melt has caused all waterways in the high sierras and creeks to nearly overflow.

Down the road we hiked there is nothing but farms here so you see horses, cattle, little creeks and snowy peaks everywhere its really nice country. If I could live here I would to tell you the truth id even retire and give up the life I have now if I could find a farm like the ones I seen out here. The dairy is surrounded by small farms and if you want to see it its surrounded by fence which then is surrounded by this farm. But you can open the gate and walk the grounds to the dairy reading the historic plaque on the old building.

If you look the dairy has a sign that says the California Fruit Exchange. Its an original sign the fruit exchange utilized the Graeagle Lumber company to make shooks or wooden crates which then could be loaded with fruit, dairy and vegetables grown in northern California. In turn you could then load the product into such shooks then ship them via rail across the country. The milk would have been delivered in such shooks also.

The dairy is a fine example of stone architecture its a very long stone building. My son vanished again trying to scare me funny thing is out of the corner of my eye I caught his ass staring at me through a little window. I thought how the hell did he get in I was not even there yet just wandering around taking black and white photos. I sneak up to the window step up on my tippy toes there he is crouched down waiting for me to come inside well it did not work I was laughing at him looking at him through the window. Yeah we have plenty of goofy moments while out exploring and it is all good fun you cant always be serious.

So I go around the back my son opens this sliding cargo door says come on in. It stunk bad in the dairy were not sure why its no longer in use cows have not been in here in actual decades. But its a four room building when you enter you have the main room where they milked the cows with metal brackets or stalls for each cow. I would say there was room for about 12 cows being milked at once. There was also a room to the very back it was empty minus a metal and wood shelf along with a wheel barrel.

If you head towards the front of the dairy you have two doors which lead into this small room with two more doors. Their is also a wooden door leading outside as well. If you go to the left there is a bathroom it was bad real bad like someone had been using it recently. The bathroom had a shower, sink and toilet not very modern of course. While the room to the right went into what appeared to be a front office with a giant freezer like metal door leading to the front entrance. This room also had glass windows, cupboards with counters, crawl space, coat closet and some old Graeagle Holiday Festival wooden sign.

Jarrod did not like the odor inside the dairy I did not smell anything other then your typical farm smell. There was a couple of fresh bails of hay in the center room. I would assume that the farm is using this building but also they are nice enough to keep it public or sectioned off from the farm surrounding it so folks like us could enjoy its history. Its a bit of an odd feeling when you walk around here its just kind of out of place. But at the same time its an awesome symbol of what Graeagle use to be about as you see the Blue Anchor California Fruit Exchange sign above the front door.

After we left the dairy we also visited some old building which looked either like an old gym or school. There was a basketball hoop we thought about playing but I had gotten hurt the day before because some guy tripped me while rushing on in for a lay up at the MAC so I had to take it easy. As a matter in fact I was limping the entire day and it was not an easy day for me to get around. My son was bouncing all over the place but surely and slowly I got to see everything it just took me longer.

Graeagle use to be huge on sports they had there own baseball team and a boxing arena with tournaments. One would think such a little mountain town would not offer sports but Graeagle actually did. Despite how much lumbering took place the town is fairly today still very woodsy throughout with also big open meadows of mountains all around. Like I said its a dream come true and ideal place to live if you were raising a family. Its definitely a world of its own up here spending your days fishing, hiking, eating ice cream at the park and enjoying history sounds to good to be true.

When I arrived downtown main street is lined with dozens of small shops all of them are painted red because at one time they were cabins for those who were employed by Graeagle Lumber. Some of the structures are bigger then others and even on hill sides some were private residences. I think when the West family bought the town they also bought over 40 structures restoring them all. Today the cabins are now small businesses and shops its very quaint.

My focus though was not on downtown while I took a few photos there was just to many cars and folks out to focus on cabins. Rather we went to a place called Mill Pond which is this small lake or pond rather downtown. There is a path around the lake with benches and people fishing. The pond connects to Gray Eagle Creek which is how the towns name came to be supposedly of course I heard other rumors to.

The pond is the site of a giant lumber mill which today no longer exist. The town also had back in the day a butcher, clubhouse, box factory and other sites of interest. Everything almost stands today but its been restored or renovated. The mill pond has very little left but maybe two concrete walls and a few foundations overgrown by grass. But the views and nature are really nice! The pond seems to be a town gathering area as it sits downtown next to the historic Herb Rowe Park which has this old stone fountain, open grass, large trees and a flag pole. I wish I had my fishing pole id love to fish in the pond for awhile but I am so busy on my explorations I get very little time to do things like that when were on the road adventuring.

I also visited the old school house today its now an antique shop did not go in but I did visit it and its nestled under a bunch of shady trees. I suppose if you drive around town your going to find some old historic sites. There is also a barn downtown that is very old that offers horseback riding too with big open views behind it and mountains. Graeagle is a bustling community downtown is only about a half mile long once you go beyond it either way it becomes rural in an instant with many old farms and not much has changed to tell you the truth.

I am sure I missed some historic sites but I can say that we explored the Mohawk Cemetery which boast many of the original settlers that came to Graeagle and Lumbermen. I can say I explored the old dairy which is iconic to the town along with the remnants of the mill and seen some other smaller sites of interest which will look great on our site. The town has western charm all these old little red buildings scattered all over among some of the largest trees of the high sierras shading downtown its very lovely here.

It was getting later and we were getting hungry. Blairsden, Greagle and Mohawk do have some nice mom and pop places to eat trust me. Their restaurants all have high scores so we decided to go back down the country road past the dairy over the Feather River Bridge to Blairsden a few miles away to a place called Gumbas Pizza. Oh man I was greeted by a couple cute girls we had chicken wings, fried up zucchini and a extra large pizza pie which had everything on it. I drank a few Luganita's which hit the spot and we had a nice dinner there.

After we ate dinner and btw it was not cheap my bill almost came out to 70 dollars just saying lol we decided to check out Graeagle Frostee. It was such a nice 65 degree day perfect for some ice cream. I got a Reeses Peanut Butter Blizzard, Tammy a malt and my son I think got a Heath Blizzard. We sat at a picnic bench with a big open view of the mountains and this horse farm. It was really awesome to experience some of the local culture, food and entertainment. When I do these semi ghost towns we want to capture our audience by being a part of them and all they have to offer. We try to give these places some promos to along the way.Its important to explore these places often I bring you guys to mining towns but to actually do a lumbering town within the wild west was something entirely new!

After dinner and frostees we decided to hit the road heading south to Mohawk's smallest community known as Clio to visit a place called White Sulphur Springs Ranch which is downright creepy. At this time I would be nearly making a full loop throughout the sierras as I went from the Plumas National Forest and eventually into the Tahoe National Forest. So we were definitely taking the scenic route as we went through Beckwourth Pass then took the back way into Graeagle and eventually arced through Clio and eventually Calpine, Sierraville, Truckee and into Lake Tahoe.

White Sulphur Springs Ranch

Its about five maybe six miles from Graeagle while I could add in with this town I wanted to create a separate project for this site. The springs are an ancient Maidu Native American Site. The first settlers in the area built the ranch and eventually by the 1860's it became a stage stop, hotel, full working ranch and site where locals could swim at. Its VERY historic and currently being renovated so that the public very soon can enjoy it so I cant wait to tell you the truth! This is in addition to the Webber Lake and Historic Hotel opening up this year to which will return too.

Anyhow, you take this woodsy road for a few miles then all of sudden it opens up to this farm which is on both sides of the road. Up on a hill in the woods above the farm are a bunch of very large cozy homes. Residents of Clio and trust me Clio is small so not many folks live here. I did not even see downtown who knows maybe there is no downtown at least Mohawk had a tavern and a few small businesses.

When you come down the road from Graegle to your right is open pastures with woods and mountains backdropping them. To your left is a farm house with cattle, horses, corrals etc and it is a fully working farm and the springs appear to be on them. I stood at a chained gate and could see the springs a 100' away. I thought about going to check them out but at the same time I did not want to deal with the ranchers.

The springs look a mess anyhow they had this big metal pool with a tier below and a tier above with a few walls. I read back in the day they had a large swimming pool not sure where it was but they diverted the spring water to that pool. So that the locals could go swimming up here. The springs were a nice attraction especially for those traveling via wagon along this historic road today which is paved but once was a wagon trail.

Next to the springs is a creepy three story home with a lower and upper porch. It also had big windows in the front of it and half of the roof seems to have blown off. There is a sign that hangs from the second story that says White Sulphur Springs Ranch. The windows were very dirty you could see cobwebs inside although again I did not cross the fence because you can see the entire home no matter where you stand in front of it the place is huge probably 12 bedrooms in total.

Keep in mind while this may have been a ranch house it also was a restaurant and a hotel. You could travel from Truckee stop here from the night while on the way to Greagle or even Sierra City or Quincy bunk up for the night rent a room, take a dip in the springs, order a steak and water down your horses. This was a stage stop of course people driving by would have no idea the paved highway through here was a wagon road nor would they think much of the springs.

The man that bought the place in the later 1860's had four children when he passed away he left the ranch to those children. Not one of them ever had gotten married as a matter in fact all four children lived out there lives as adults here until the final child passed away in 1954. So at least five people lived there entire lived out in this very home and it is creepy just plain creepy. I realize there is an entire website and that slowly restoration is being done to turn it into a museum which is why I did not explore it to much because when it becomes a museum ill be able to hike on the nature trails, take a dip in the springs, explore the inside, donate money and do an actual paranormal investigation rather then a photo session from the outside.

To the left of the ranch house is two barns one is a cart barn or garage the other one may have been for tools maybe farm machinery. They are fairly dilapidated but they still stand no less! If you go to the right of the ranch house or old hotel there is a filled in old well. There is also a pile of concrete slabs and even a set of stairs all in a huge pile not sure what that was. They are restoring and cleaning up the property to make it into a museum. So whatever this building was or perhaps it was what is left of the old pool does peek my curiosity. But you cant tell what it is because its just a pile of rubble which they are slowly removing.

Behind the well is these stone ruins of a fireplace or maybe even oven with a foundation which btw is filled with rain water. Its kind of funny but it was almost sundown so you could hear crickets and frogs afterall this is the country. I really am a country boy so I felt at home here just walking around the perimeter of the ranch. I tried not to cross the fence even if it was easy to hop over just because this historic site is on the full working ranch and like I said did not want a problem with the rancher who was out and about. The worst thing you can do is walking around someone's farm when there cattle and horses are out roaming around trust me I know was shot at many years ago.

However, I did hop the fence to go check out the stone ruins they sit right along the edge of the forest which is behind the ranch house. I walked up to the stone ruins, checked out the pile of concrete slabs, checked out the filled in well and also found this pit near some new garage they are building. Maybe the pit is the old swimming pool and maybe that concrete was bulldozed into a pile nearby. I cannot say for sure because its this 30' in length by 6' deep pit. Maybe they are building a new pool for folks to swim at and they plan on using the springs nearby eventually.

I have no idea what they are going to do with this place certain times of year they allow you to metal detect here and explore the place. But it was not open so I was disappointed because there is a geocache here, a website and tons of reviews of other folks getting to walk around the ranch. However, when I got here all you see are locked gates, no trespassing signs and there is just this unfriendly vibe to the place. The ranch next store that is working has no in between its all part of the same property so its hard to know if the owners of that farm also own this historic site.

When I walked out to the well and stone ruins I noticed there was a few add-ons done to the back of the main hotel and house. Should I say some renovations in more modern times probably in the 1900's when the owners children were living here. I am sure if I wanted to I could have explored this creepy old hotel and home just like the Mohawk. But I think ill wait till they fully restore it or at least open it as a museum so I can at least offer a donation since I know how expensive it will be to restore this place. But with a brand new bathhouse, roof and fence the place is well on its way to probably opening in the near future. I guess it was Gumbas that held the first fundraiser for White Sulphur Springs Ranch which in turn led to the bathhouse being built so work is ongoing.

I may attend an event in June here just because that would allow me more in depth access of the property. I believe the pile of concrete I found was what was left of the old swimming pool. I also believe the freshly dug hole next to the bath house is the new pool they are putting in. If you go to the website under there restoration section of the site they have photos showing the new bathhouse being built, old pool being bulldozed, new pool being dug and even trenches for electrical wiring that goes out to the new pool. I guess they are building a snack shack also so you can pick up some treats while swimming here or taking a tour.

I am not done with this place I cant prove it yet but I believe the hotel or ranch house is haunted. I just cant imagine that an entire family could live here and die here and not one ghost would haunt this place. I know there is energy lots of it dating back to when many pioneers bunked up for the night here while heading out to the Beckwourth Pass to move onto other mining and lumber mill towns in the region.

This is a wholesome place there are a few nice tall peaks with snow on them to and the entire area is surrounded by dense forest. Behind the ranch house and springs are nature trails that you can go hiking on. I bet if you can go up to the top of the hill behind this ranch the views of the mountains in the area are probably very stellar. I know because I been working with this area a few years and ill tell you this is a real magical part of California.

It was getting late so it was time to head for home I would have loved to see an explore more. I may in June have access to the property during there summer days event which takes place near the end of June in the evening. That may allow me to delve into this place more so were not done with it this is just an introduction to the ranch and historic hotel. I bet once they fully restore the property this place is going to be nice who knows if they offer rooms for the night I may get one make a night of it. Its only a little over an hour from my house which is why I live where I do because its gorgeous up here. I am sure someone like Mark Twain at one point stopped here along his travels no doubt!

My ride home was really nice also I hit beautiful Calpine, Sierraville, Truckee and eventually drove around Lake Tahoe at sunset which is a must if you visit here. I had come home watched the season finale of The Walking Dead and really made a day of it. It was a magical day one spent with family, history, adventure and fun. When I put these excursions together I do so with thought and a ton of research prior to ever stepping foot into them. That way I know the history prior to me trying to film or investigate these locations. More then likely at some point ill return to these locations but we had to first open up cases and projects so that we could further advance our work down the road.

I know their is much more to be seen I seen some of the creepiest structures in Mohawk and Clio in a long time. I am sure if these walls could talk they definitely would have a few resident ghost stories of their own! Maybe will find out when I return to the White Sulphur in June for there fundraising event at that time ill be able to explore and investigate more of the property in depth. The Graeagle area offers so much to see with its views, history and endless amounts of adventure.  I cant wait!
Lord Rick
PGS Founder