Early South Coast Conservationists: Theodore & Mildred Hoover (6)

Not just determination–but fate was with Theodore Hoover. The Ocean Shore Land Co. changed its mind about selling its Coastside holdings after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire dealt the railroad business a heavy financial blow.

Now the land Hoover coveted was up for sale and negotiations went quickly. He got the other half of “the Waddell,” property Theodore and Mildred called the “Rancho del Oso.” And what a property it was. Their next door neighbor was Big Basin State Park–a magnificent redwood forest acquired by California in 1902.

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 then called “Big Gulch.”

To move the lumber from deep within the Waddell canyon to a wharf near Ano Nuevo on the Pacific Ocean, Waddell constructed a five-mile tramway, marked with more than 10 bridges–an amazing achievement.

…to be continued…