50 UNCOMMON PLACE NAMES OF MOUNT DIABLO
by Rich McDrew
There are approximately 250 named creeks, canyons, trails, springs and locations within the over 20,000 acres that make-up the beautiful Mount Diablo State Park, designated a "National Natural Landmark" by the National Park Service in 1982.
This article focuses on about 20 percent of the place names, more specifically 50, that are some what uncommon or exotic. Among the names are a few unusual words, but most are of people who had an historic presence on the mountain. Some of these place names originated before the establishment of the Park, and were named by settlers in the mid-to-late 1800s and early 1900s. Although many historic names have been retained, many decades have passed. Thus, the origination of these place names have become lost, obscured, or at least, esoteric in nature.
This article intends to revitalize the origins and significance of the 50 of these place names. In so doing, one becomes an amateur etymologist by studying the origin and historic development of words. It is important to mention that the Park no longer uses the names of people for trails, canyons, etc., unless the person has achieved statewide or national prominence, and has had a positive impact in Mount Diablo State Park. One obvious example is John Muir (Muir Picnic Area).
The following 50 place names can be found on the recently printed Fifth Edition of the Trail Map of Mount Diablo State Park, published by the Mount Diablo Interpretative Association. The letters and numbers in parenthesis following the place name refer to the map's grid coordinates for the location within the Park. Most of the trails and roads are signed, but a few are pending signage.
It is important to recognize that this article would have been incomplete and inadequate if it were not for the assistance received from numerous people and organizations. Three people were especially helpful: Seth Adams of Save Mount Diablo; Anne Homan, author of The Morning Side of Mount Diablo; and Ken Lavin of Mount Diablo Interpretative Association.. The curators and staffs of the following historical societies were also very helpful: Clayton, Concord, Contra Costa County, San Ramon Valley, and Walnut Creek.
ALAMO CREEK (H9) The word "Alamo" is Spanish for "poplar." It was given to the town, and eventually to the creek, because poplar trees once grew abundantly in the valley and along the streams. The poplar tree in this area is more correctly called the Fremont Cottonwood, Populus fremontii. This tree was named after John C. Fremont, who discovered the species with Kit Carson near Pyramid Lake, Nevada, in 1844.
ANGEL KERLEY ROAD (D5) The fireroad is named for Angelina E. Toscani Kerley (1908-1987), who owned and operated the Diablo Ranch on North Gate Road on the western slope of Mount Diablo. Angel took control of the 300-head, 2,000+ acre, working cattle ranch in 1958 as part of a divorce settlement from her husband. Angel was born in Santa Rosa, California and graduated from college with a major in English. She married Robert D. Kerley in 1934 and the couple lived in Berkeley. Her husband operated Allied Automatic, a vending machine company in Oakland. Angel was an accomplished horse rider, successfully competing in 100-mile rides in 24-hour periods. In 1980, Angel sold 1,869-acres of Diablo Ranch to the State of California for $3.3 million. Additionally, 231 acres were donated to the State. Angel had two children: Robert Kerley, Jr., and Joan Kerley Brumleve. Joan died in 2000. Tom Brumleve, Joan¹s husband, currently operates a 61-acre, in-holding, demonstration ranch on Mount Diablo. In 1993, the California State Parks Commission reduced the amount of cattle grazing to 1,000-acres and no more than 100 cows within the Park.
ARROYO DEL CERRO (B3) Spanish for "hillside creek."
ARROYO PICNIC AREA (E7) "Arroyo" is a Spanish word meaning "stream", "brook", or "creek."
BLAISDELL TRAIL (H2) The trail is named for Harry Lee Blaisdell (1890-1964), superintendent of the Central Coast Division of the State Parks, and first "warden" of Mount Diablo State Park in the 1920s. Harry was a native of Massachusetts.
BRIONES-MOUNT DIABLO TRAIL (A5) This trail extends from Briones Regional Park through the Diablo Foothills to Mount Diablo. It is named for the prosperous farmer Ramon Briones (1814- 1875). Briones Valley was also named after him. In 1844, Ramon married Louise Moraga Briones (1816-1906). They initially resided in San Pablo and Pinole, and then moved to Oakland in 1869. They had seven children. Ramon was killed in a railroad accident.
BRUCE LEE ROAD (D2) Bruce Royal Lee (1916-1985) was once President of the Concord/Mount Diablo Trailride Association, founded in 1941 by avid horse lovers who enjoyed riding in the hills of Contra Costa County. The first year they had 18 riders. They incorporated in 1945, and in 1960 purchased 200-acres on the north side of Mount Diablo. Today, about 100 families are members of the Association. Bruce was a dedicated and tireless advocate for building and improving riding and hiking trails in and around Mount Diablo State Park. He was the owner/operator of Bruce Lee Appliances in Walnut Creek. He and his wife, Bobbie M. Lee, and son Marty and daughter Deborah, lived in Pleasant Hill.
CCC TRAIL (A8) The acronym stands for the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC was founded in 1933 by the Federal government in order to plant trees, combat fires and tree diseases, and otherwise add to the value of the forest domain. The CCC was disbanded during World War II. It served a useful purpose during the days of unemployment by training and educating youth throughout the country. It was an instrument for preventing delinquency and providing opportunities for young men to learn a profession. The CCC was responsible for many unique and useful work projects in Mount Diablo State Park, only one of seven California State Parks to benefit from CCC labor. In addition to the CCC Trail, a 200-man company, all veterans of World War I, built the Summit Visitor Center building from quarried stone taken six miles away near Rock City. The veterans also built camping and picnic sites including parking spaces, a water supply and distribution system, restrooms, stone fireplaces, hewn tables and benches, culverts, retaining walls, and constructed many access roads and trails.
CARDINET OAKS ROAD (F2) Named for George H. Cardinet, Jr. (1909- ), the former President of the Cardinet Candy Company, a business started by his father. George is a past President of the Concord/Mount Diablo Trailride Association, and founder of the California Horseman's Association. Known as "the father of California's trail system", he helped to establish, over the past 70 years, many of the hiking and riding trails in Mount Diablo State Park. Another trail, the George Cardinet/Back Creek Trail, was dedicated in his honor in 1992. His wife Margaret died in 1992. They raised four children.
CHASE POND (F6) The pond is named for John G. Chase (1837-1908) who owned a prosperous 320-acre farm in Sycamore Valley in the mid-1800s. He also had a home in Antioch. A native of New Hampshire, he arrived in Contra Costa County in 1858. He married Michigan native, Almira Johnson Chase (1842-1910) in 1868, and they had two children-a daughter Nettie, and a son J. Rudolph. Besides operating the farm, John operated a livery stable and stage line from Somersville to Antioch. He was also a Deputy Sheriff and constable of Township Number Five.
CLAYTON OAKS ROAD (E1) Joel Henry Clayton (1812-1872) was born in England and was the eldest of 12 children. He immigrated to America in 1837, and became a true pioneer of the early West. He was a talented mining engineer, prospector, trader, farmer, community developer, and all around entrepreneur. His legendary activities across the country and along the entire West Coast earned him much respect, and are recorded in many places. Joel first saw Clayton Valley in 1843. In 1853, he purchased land, and in l856, recorded and began developing his new town of Clayton. Unfortunately, he died of "quick pneumonia" after exposure in a chilling storm. He had struggled home carrying a sick calf that was dead by the time he reached the farmhouse. Joel and his wife, Margaret Ellen McLay Clayton (1820-1908), are buried in Clayton's Live Oak Cemetery. Four of their nine children survived them.
CURRY CANYON (F7) James R. Curry (1835-1908), a native of Virginia, and his wife, Ellen Callan Curry, a native of London, England were early pioneers in Contra Costa County, settling in the Clayton area in 1858. James was engaged in the livery business and established the first stage line between Clayton and Oakland, and also to Nortonville along the coal-mining regions. He made two trips back to his native home with an oxteam. The Currys had eight children, seven of which were boys.
DAN COOK CANYON (D7) Daniel Cook was the owner of a 6,000- acre ranch on the southwestern slopes of Mount Diablo. The property was initially called the "Railroad Ranch" (1877-1880). This ranch was first purchased by the famous Southern Pacific Railroad's "Big Four": Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins, Collis Huntington and Leland Stanford. It was managed, and subsequently owned, by another Southern Pacific Railroad magnate, David Colton. Dan and his wife, Caroline Colton Cook, inherited the ranch after Caroline's father's death on October 10, 1878, due to a horse-riding accident. Consequently, it became the "Cook Ranch" (1880-1889). By 1881, Dan and Caroline and their young son had tragically died, and Dan's brother Seth Cook (1830-1889) took over the ranch. After Seth¹s death in 1889, the ranch was left to the Cook's neice, and it became the "Oakwood Park Stock Farm" (1890-1912). The ranch operated raising thoroughbred horses. The original ranchland included Dan Cook Canyon, Rock City, Devil's Slide, and central portions of the Park along what is now South Gate Road. The Diablo Country Club is built on the site of he old headquarters of the Railroad Ranch/Cook Ranch/Oakwood Park Stock Farm.
DONNER CANYON (E2) This beautiful canyon on Mt. Diablo's north side is named for John Donner and his descendants. According to the 1880 census in Clayton, John was born in 1814 in Canada and was employed as a farmer. His father and mother were both born in Germany. He was not a member of the illfated Donner Party that came to California in the 1840s.
EMMONS CANYON (B6) This canyon is named for the "Emmons Ranch" which once encompassed 640-acres that included the canyon.
FELT SPRING (G5) William Felt named the spring in memory of his wife, Matilda Felt (1860-1906). Both were natives of Sweden. William was a miner in Colorado and a railroad man in San Francisco before purchasing 160-acres on the east side of Mount Diablo in 1905 from C.H. Bradley. The Contra Costa Gazette that William "made a little clearing and built a little house for himself and wife." On September 29, 1906, Matilda unexpectedly died of heart failure on the "slopes of Mount Diablo" at the age of 46. She was fluent in seven languages was governess for several affluent families.
FINLEY ROAD (J9) Harrison Finley (1837-1918) was a native of Missouri and arrived in Contra Costa County in 1863, initially leased land in Tassajara Valley. In 1875, he purchased 1,080-acres in Tassajara Valley and farmed and raised livestock. He and his wife, Lavina Roy Finley (1849-1945), had eight children. All of their children were born in Contra Costa County. In 1888, the Finley family moved to Sonoma County.
GIBRALTAR ROCK (E7) The "Rock of Gibraltar" is an imposing natural rock formation near the southern tip of Spain in the strait between Europe and Africa at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. Similarly, Gibraltar Rock in Mount Diablo State Park is at the natural gateway to Rock City along South Gate Road.
GOVERNMENT ROAD (B4) In 1851, two U.S. Army officers Majors Robert Allen and Robert Loring purchased a 3,000-acre ranch on the Western slope of Mount Diablo. Their property was appropriately called "Government Ranch". Government Road was within their property.
GREEN RANCH ROAD (F5) This fireroad is named for the "Greenhill Ranch" which was the property of Berkeley residents Robert Clarke Green (1905-1981) and his wife Deborah Bixby Green (1904-1959). In 1938, they built a summer/country house on their south-facing, 170-acre parcel near Mount Diablo's summit. The renowned architect, William Wurster, designed the house. The summer estate included a large s w i m m i n g pool, tennis court, and guest quarters. The State of California acquired the property in 1965. The house was demolished in 1993. Efforts are underway to return this area to nature. In 1995, one of the Green's daughters, Deborah Green Seymour, wrote: "We all called it 'Diablo.' It was also known as the 'Green Ranch', although officially it's title was 'Greenhill Ranch.' We learned a lot at Diablo. What we gained from our parents and the rangers was a love and respect for the mountain and its inhabitants, and the responsibility for taking care of this special place."
HETHERINGTON TRAIL (E2): Named for William Alford Hetherington (1906- 1983) and wife, Blenda Hetherington. His parents were Clark Wilson Hetherington and Daisy Alford Hetherington. William was a native Californian, and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He died in San Francisco and was buried in Tulure, CA. William and Blenda owned an 160-acre parcel in Donner Canyon beginning in 1950. The State Park System acquired this parcel in 1973. The Hetheringtons insisted on selling their property to the State, because it was their desire that the property be put into permanent protection status. The name Hetherington is sometimes spelled with double "rr"on the Fifth Edition of the Trail Map of Mount Diablo State Park. This is incorrect. Death records spell the name as indicated above.
JILL CREEK (D5) The creek is named for Jill Brumleve Kilcourse, granddaughter of Angel Kerley, and daughter of Tom and Joan Brumleve (see Angel Kerley Road).
LAS TRAMPAS-MT. DIABLO TRAIL (A6) "Trampa" means "trap" or "snare" in Spanish. Hunters and fur trappers were the first non-Native-Americans to settle in Contra Costa County. Jedediah Smith, a well-known trapper, crossed Contra Costa County in May 1827.
MACEDO RANCH (B6) Frank A. Macedo (1886-1980) was a Portuguese immigrant from the Azores Islands. He arrived in New York City on a whaling vessel in 1903, and settled in Contra Costa County in 1906. In 1909, he purchased 825-acres around what is now the Mount Diablo State Park staging area in Danville. Frank grew hay, raised cattle and horses, and engaged in contract hay bailing on farms in the area. In 1922, he leased 185 acres near downtown Walnut Creek, and went into the dairy business, selling milk for 40 cents a gallon. He retired in 1945 to a home at 1835 Oakland Blvd., Walnut Creek. The Macedos sold their Danville property to the Park in 1959. Frank married Isabel Macedo in 1910. His wife and their only son, Frank Silveria Macedo (1912-1975), died the same year. The elder Frank died in Walnut Creek at the age of 94 and is buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward.
MARSH TRAIL (G2) Dr. John Marsh (1799-1856) owned a nearby ranch called "Los Meganos" (Spanish for "sand dunes"). He was the first American settler in Contra Costa County. John descended from an old New England family, and was a graduate of Harvard College. In 1837, he obtained a grant from the Mexican government that contained 13,316-acres at the foot of Mount Diablo, now the geographic center of Contra Costa County. John married Abbie Tuch Marsh in 1851 and subsequently built the "Stone House" about four miles West of Brentwood. In 2002, the State of California acquired the 4,000-acre Cowell Ranch adjacent to the Stone House to create one of the newest Parks in the State. John was brutally murdered and robbed on September 24, 1856, while driving his buggy on the road from one of his ranches in Martinez.
MERIDIAN RIDGE ROAD (E3) "Meridian" is a surveying term referring to the North-South axis lines drawn for land division. Some early maps name this road "Median Road."
MIMULUS SPRING (F4) The genus Mimulus is the Latin name for the monkeyflower plant. There are at least ten varieties of the monkeyflowers in Mount Diablo State Park. Some varieties are common around springs. "Mimulus Spring" was first identified on a map in Mary Bowerman"s 1944 book, The Flowering Plants and Ferns of Mount Diablo, California, originally a doctoral dissertation. The second edition, updated by Barbara Erter, was published in 2001. The nearby
MITCHELL CANYON TRAIL (D3) Isaac Mitchell (1829-1921) was a native of Kentucky. He came to Contra Costa County in 1849 with the gold rush, and initially engaged in farming in the San Ramon Valley. He later purchased a large tract of land in the canyon where he lived until his death. He and his wife had six children. According to the authoritative History of Contra Costa County, published in 1926, "Mitchell Canyon, at the base of Mount Diablo, is named for him."
MIWOK ROAD (H2) Miwok is translated as "people" or "Indian people" and identifies any one of several different Native Californian groups. Native Californians lived in the area of Mount Diablo State Park for over 5,000 years before the arrival of the Europeans.
MORGAN TERRITORY ROAD (H4) Both the "territory" and "road" were named for Jeremiah (Jerry) Morgan (1819- 1906) and his descendants. Jeremiah was born in the Cherokee Nation, Alabama, near the Tennessee River. He came to California in 1849, and claimed 10,000- acres of land on "the morning side of Mount Diablo" in 1856. After the first official survey by the U.S. government in 1862, Jeremiah¹s land claims were reduced to 2,000-acres. Jeremiah had 16 children by his first wife, Sarah Ellis Morgan. She died in 1869. Morgan Territory Road was officially named by Contra Costa County in 1892. The road is 14.5 miles long, and passes through four townships.
MOUNT DIABLO (F4) The origin of the name invokes speculation. The most popular version revolves around the Spanish word "Diablo" meaning "devil." This reference is believed to stem from an 1805 Spanish military expedition that went in search of runaway Native Californians from San Francisco's Mission Delores. The Spanish soldiers caught sight of the runaways hiding in a willow thicket near what is now Buchanan Field in Concord and decided to wait until the next morning before capturing them. During the night, the group of Native Californians mysteriously escaped. In response, the Spanish dubbed the site "Monte del Diablo", meaning "Thicket of the Devil." Subsequently, English speaking individuals believed "monte" translated to "mountain" and thus, tagged the summit of the nearly mountain "Mount Diablo." Subsequent generations of visitors to the mountain thought the name to be appropriate because the trip to the summit was "a devil of a climb!"
MUIR PICNIC AREA (E5) John Muir (1838-1914), American naturalist and explorer, who was born in Dunbar, Scotland and educated in Scotland and the University of Wisconsin. While traveling on foot, he visited many of the grander scenes in the mountains of California, including Mount Diablo in 1877. Founder of the Sierra Club, he was a pioneer advocate of forest conservation and establishment of national parks.
MURCHIO ROAD (D1) Dominic Murchio (1849-1916) and his wife Julia Raggi Murchio (1859-1931) were born amid the vine-clad hills of sunny Italy. They were married in California in 1879, and settled in the Clayton area, becoming owners of one of the finest ranches in that area. The ranch extended up Mitchell Canyon to Deer Flat and included White Canyon. They grew hay, grain, cattle and wine grapes on about 4,000-acres. Dominic and Julia were parents of 13 children. The Murchio family ranched in the Mitchell Canyon vicinity for almost 80 years.
OLOFSON RIDGE ROAD (F4) The Olofson family, John Peter Olofson (1834-1903) and his wife Clarissa Olofson (1840-1913) and their seven children homesteaded 138-acres in the vicinity of Mitchell Canyon beginning in 1886. John emigrated from his native Stockholm, Sweden at the age of 14. He arrived in San Francisco in 1848, and initially was a dockworker. He married his wife in 1857. She emigrated from Liverpool, England.
OLYMPIA TRAIL (F3) "Olympus", the mountain throne of the Greek gods, and "Olympia", the site of the Olympic games, repeatedly have been used for American place names. Such is probably the case here. However, local legend persists that this peak was named for "Olympia Beer." Before the area was annexed to Mount Diablo State Park, the Concord/Mount Diablo Trailride Association built many of the trails around Mount Olympia. The Association's trail builders supposedly stashed Olympia Beer along the trail to refresh themselves after a hard days work. Today, alcohol is not permitted in the Park. Leopold Schmidt founded Olympia Brewing Company in Tumwater, WA in 1896. Since 1983, it adopted the enduring slogan: "tis the Water." Unfortunately, the last can of Olympia rolled off the line on May 27, 2003. Olympia Brewing Company is now history.
PERKINS CANYON (G4) Solomon D. Perkins (l822- ?), a native of Missouri, purchased property in 1859 and farmed in the Morgan Territory area.
RANSOM POINT (F4) Leander Ransom (1800-1874), a U.S. Deputy Surveyor General, selected the summit of Mount Diablo as the base point to survey central California and western Nevada in the summer of 1851. He was born in Connecticut and while still a young man, went to Cleveland, Ohio. A few years later, he became President of the Public Works of Ohio, and moved his family to Columbus. Leander was a man of imposing build weighing 235 pound, standing over six feet tall. He died at the age of 74 as the result of an accident. As a fitting memorial to the pioneer work of Leander Ransom, the Society of Engineers dedicated "Ransom Point" near the Mount Diablo summit in October 1926. A few recent historical references, including previous editions of the "Trail Map of Mount Diablo State Park", spell Leander¹s last name "Ransome." However, the more authoritative historical documents of his day spell his last name without the "e."
RAY MORGAN ROAD (H4) Raymond H. Morgan (1933-1986) lived in the Morgan Territory area. He served as the Fire Chief of the East Diablo Fire Protection District for 12 years, and worked for this District for 26 years. Ray died in Clayton at the age of 53. His wife Helen, daughters Debra Finn and Renae Tharp, both of Antioch, parents Howard and Grace Morgan of Clayton, brother Ken Morgan of Napa, and two grandchildren, survived him.
RHINE CANYON (F5) Charles Rhine (1838-1920) was a native of Poland. He came to Contra Costa County in 1857 and opened a general merchandise store with partner Joel Clayton (see Clayton Oaks Road) near the present town of Clayton. He also owned and operated a 900-acre farm in the area. Most of the goods he raised he sold in his store. Charles was also the postmaster in Clayton. In 1868, Charles married Celia Lobree Rhine, a native of Prussia. They had eight children. It is believed that the nearby "Rhyne [sic] Quicksilver Mine" was also named for him. It operated as far back as 1875 and helped to turn the tiny community of Clayton into a thriving town. Deposits of the hard blue serpentine and red cinnabar became a valuable source of mercury for the country's munitions industry.
RIGGS CANYON (I7) The canyon is named for Kentucky native, Louisa Riggs Morgan (1829-1917) and her ancestors who owned property and raised livestock in the Canyon area in the mid- 1800s. Louisa was Jeremiah Morgan's (Morgan Territory Road) second wife. They were married in 1869. They had one son, and were married for 37 years. Louisa died in Modesto at the age of 88 years.
SATTLER TRAIL (H2) This trail is named for William Henry Sattler (1909-1997) and his wife, Genevieve Sattler (1915-1999). For two decades, "Bill" and "Gen" were the quiet strength of Save Mount Diablo (SMD), the land trust they helped start in 1971. Bill was the Treasurer of SMD for almost two decades, and Gen was the Secretary. They both played a sentinel role in protecting the rugged open spaces of Mount Diablo from housing tracts. In l971, just 7,500- acres were protected as part of Mount Diablo State Park. Now, the Park¹s acreage is over 20,000-acres. Bill and Gen were married in 1950, and raised four children: Joyce, Carol, Edward and Albert. Bill was a partner in Sattler's Appliance Stores (Concord) for 32 years. The business closed in 1990.
SHARKEY ROAD (G2) This fireroad is named for California State Senator William R. Sharkey (1879-1948). It was through his efforts that Mount Diablo was made a State Park and Game Refuge in 1921. Senator Sharkey was the author and sponsor of a bill in the California legislature that made it so. Besides being a legislator, Senator Sharkey was well known as a newspaper publisher and conservationist.
SOTO SPRINGS (C3) The springs are named for the deSoto family who owned and operated a 360-acre working cattle ranch east of North Gate Road for several generations. The de Soto ownership can be traced to the late l800s to Alvarado John de Soto (1858-1916). Alvarado was a prominent political figure in Contra Costa County serving as Auditor for many years until 1907. His father, Silverio Ygnacio Carlos de Soto (1831- 1906), was the grandson of Ignacio de Soto (1740-1807) of Sinaloa, Mexico. Ignacio came to California in 1776 with the expedition of Captain Juan Bautista de Anza, and helped build the presidio and mission at San Francisco. It is important to note that Alvarado's brother, Presentacion Marcus de Soto (1859-1932), a Concord postmaster for nearly 30 years, has been credited as the first person to work toward Mount Diablo becoming a State Park. Upon Alvarado's death his children inherited the property. They sold it to a realtor in the 1950s. Save Mt. Diablo purchased the property in 1984 and subsequently deeded it Mt. Diablo State Park.
STAGE ROAD (B5) On November 4, 1873, the Mount Diablo Summit Road Company was incorporated to build a road from Ygnacio Valley in Walnut Creek, through Pine Canyon, and up to the summit. The "Stage Road" was opened on May 2, 1874, with two stage lines running twice daily from the Pacheco-Martinez area.
TASSAJARA CREEK (I9) This name orriginates from the Spanish- American word "tasajero" ("tasajo" in Spanish means "jerked beef" or "piece of meat") designating a place where beef or venison is cut in strips and hung-out in the sun to dry or cure.
WALKER CANYON (F2) James Toomey Walker (1825-1902) and his family were early settlers in the Walnut Creek area. James married Mary Caroline Vaughan Walker (1840-1922) in 1861. They had three children, a son and two daughters. In 1868, he built a home on his 1,400-acre ranch (acquired in 1851). The home remains today on North Gate Road in Walnut Creek at the foot of Mount Diablo State Park. James' famous uncle, Joseph Reddeford Walker (1798-1876), moved into the new house with his nephew and lived there until his death at the age of 77. Joseph Reddeford Walker was a trapper, trailblazer, guide, and stock buyer of the 1830s and 1840s. Walker Pass in the Sierra Nevada is named for him. He is buried in Alhambra Cemetery in Martinez, where his headstone recounts the highlights of his career. James' son, John "Johnnie" Walker (1862-1942), remained on the ranch after his father¹s death, and continued in the cattle business for almost three decades. His herd numbered over 1,500 cattle. John married Margaret McDonald Walker in 1886. They had seven children, all born on the ranch created by James.
WASSERMANN TRAIL (F2) This trail is named for Dr. Franz W. Wassermann and his wife Sarah Wassermann. Both Franz and Sarah are 83-years-old and live in Walnut Creek. He was born in Munich, Germany, and she in Cleveland, Ohio. They joined the Concord/Mount Diablo Trailride Association in 1960 and have been very active with the Association¹s operations and events since then. For many years, Franz was a psychiatrist with Contra Costa County, and also in private practice. They have two children: Paul, a pediatrian in Chico, and daughter, Margie Bone, a psychiatrist in Seattle. The Trailride Association named the Trail for Franz and Sarah before the land was annexed to Mount Diablo State Park.
WISE ROAD (G2) Dr. Warren R. Wise (1909-1989) and his family owned a house and 83-acres along this road. Warren was a medical doctor who worked for Johns Manville International in Pittsburg, California. Robert Nunn purchased his property, also known as "Three Springs", from the Wise heirs. Robert kept the house on 5-acres, and sold the remaining 78-acres to Save Mount Diablo in 1992. This property was then deeded to the State of California to be included in Mount Diablo State Park.
WRIGHT CANYON (F4) Dorothy Tudder Wright named the canyon in memory of her late husband, Martin Barr Wright (1920-1999), and his ancestors and descendants. Dorothy and Martin were high school sweethearts in Oakland, and were married in 1942. In 1946, they purchased 110-acres along Morgan Territory Road for $20,000 from the Olofson family estate. Martin's parents were George Ross Wright (1892-1958) and Edith Olofson Wright (1893-1992). Edith was a granddaughter of John Peter and Clarissa Olofson (see Olofson Ridge Road). Dorothy and Martin owned and operated Curry Creek Park from 1946 to 1981 and raised five children.
ZIPPE TRAIL (G3) Emmett Wilbur Zippe (1906-1987) owned and resided on 535-acres on the north slope of Mount Diablo. His property was deeded to the Park in 1978. Emmett was an employee of Pacific Bell. He died in Contra Costa County at the age of 80.