Early South Coast Conservationist: Theodore Hoover (7)

(to catch up, please see previous stories 1-6….Theodore and Mildred Hoover purchased property in the Waddell Canyon, south of Pescadero…Hoover was the dean of the Engineering School at Stanford, a conservationist and the older borther of the 31st president. Mildred was a writer whose books were published about California history).

Mildred’s study of the Waddell proved to be a labor of love. She learned its name was derived from William W. Waddell, a Kentucky woodsman who established a sawmill at what was t hen called “Big Gulch.” To move the lumber from deep within the Waddell canyon to a wharf near Ano Nuevo on thhe Pacific, Waddell had constructed a five-mile tramway., marked with more than 10 bridges, an amazing achievement.

This rough-and-tumble man also raised flowers in a hot-house near his home and built living quarters for his mill workers.

Waddell had prospered for a quarter century, taming nature but then nature, almost in retaliation, saw fit to cut him down. Waddell’s life ws ended as the result of an attack by a grizzly bear.

Upon Waddell’s death, the logging industry fell into decline–but the descendants of the mill stayed on, scratching out a living by farming and whatever else they could do to make ends meet. The Hoovers, who knew every inch of the property, befriended these folks and found them to be remarkable sources of local history.

…to be continued…