Saturday, November 8, 2008

Is this Spy Rock?

photo by  Chris Guenzler.  www. trainweb.org/chris/index

My cousin "Oregon" and Robin Shelly are having a discussion in my E- mail about whether or not this is really "Spy Rock". The only thing that I'm fairly sure of, if I was allowed to speculate, that it is indeed the North Western Pacific rail route, it looks like a smoky day in the '50's, and it was taken from a passenger train. The tick brush in the foreground and the Oak trees in the background are typical of the Eel River. I’d say that it is Spy Rock, and I’m at least 92% sure. I'm 100% sure it's a rock.

Maybe Spyrock knows, if he is still talking to me. I was a little hard on him about the “name” thing. Maybe he’s still off cogitating about whether or not to use names. But, I sure hope that he keeps posting here, he has a lot of informative and interesting things to say. And I CAN deal with the no name thing. It’s just that I deal with it poorly. My bad not his.

22 comments:

spyrock said...

yes, that's spyrock. that picture was taken from the train that took passengers from willets to eureka along the eel. that train was only a couple of cars long. my mom and I and my cousin jerry ann and her kids little mel and suzy all rode on this train in the summer of 1960.my mom made sure to point out spyrock as we passed it and that's what it looks like. its the lower spyrock, ive never seen a picture of the upper spyrock which is about a mile north and east of the lower spyrock. when we got to eureka, we visited my moms cousin, helen sherburn, whose husband fred luther sherburn might be related to your ross sherburn. helen was one of my great uncle guy simmerlys daughters. the sherburn family might have lived near iron peak mountain. they have pictures in families from covelo and luther is a kid in one of the pictures. and i think some of the kids went to the old spyrock school if i remember right. you didn't have a lot of choice about who you married up with out there in those days. no offense intended, just a fact. if you have goggle earth, just type in spyrock mendocino and it will take you there. pan down river to where shell rock creek enters from the left and scan down horizontal and you can see spyrock standing there like a pyramid above the river.

Robin Shelley said...

This picture was actually taken by Chris Guenzler in July of 1986 from the Eureka Southern-Northcoast Daylight which, if I remember, was a short-lived tourist excursion train that ran between Willits (?) & Eureka. You can find his album of the trip online.
Thanks for the info, Spy. (I knew Ernie would have to try harder than that to run you off - hee, hee.) As you know, I have a family history in Laytonville/Long Valley, too, & lived there 50 years myself. You've mentioned some of my/your relatives... hell, we're probably all inbreeds!
What I wanted to say before I got sidetracked was that Johnny Pinches told me one time that there is a big rock that people often refer to as Spy Rock but that, to the best of his knowledge, Spy Rock is a relatively small rock IN the Eel River... & I've had other old timers tell me the same thing. Sounds like your mom should know, Spy, & I've never seen either one. I do know that some people refer to Shell Rock as Spy Rock & even us new/old timers know that's not right!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks for the names Spyrock, the Sherburn conection is what I was talking about. Without first and last names, I can't make those connections.

It sure make history a lot more interesting doesn't it?

ross sherburn said...

might be related!give me a break!luther was my dads younger brother by ten years! helen was from dos rios.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Well, we found you a relative for your birthday Spyrock. He is an interesting guy also, he is a record holding salt flat racer.

Happy birthday! Got any more names?

ross(ridgerunner)sherburn said...

spyrock!thats pretty weird,that you know my uncles correct name????

spyrock said...

well, we are laughing about that nickname ridgerunner because my girlfriends sons medicine name is ridgewalker. pretty weird.

spyrock said...

my aunt ruth simmerly who was married to ben, helen's older brother, said that the first spyrock school was built in 1894-1897, north of shell rock creek, up the hill west of the house on the property homesteaded by harris j. sherburn and later bought by john s. simmerly. early students were fred a., frank, ada and hazel, children of frederick and kate hagler simmerly. guy and grace, children of john s. and laura kauble simmerly.
so there was a fred adolfus sr. who was the older brother of john samuel and a fred a. jr. who is the guy standing next to philo short in the grey school photo. fred a. jr. died in 1951 so he could have been your grandpa's cardmate. he lived longer than uncle guy who died in 1946. The simmerly school was built in 1922 on land donated by fred simmerly, along the road to spyrock about a mile and a quarter up the hill west of the spyrock store. helen and the rest of guy simmerly's kids went to this school as did audrey short rhorbough. i think fred's dad owned and ran the store at spyrock railroad station as that is what the family did in marysville. as they said fred a. there might have been another fred, john had 9 brothers and sisters. but i think fred a. junior is the most logical suspect.
luther and helen sherburn had two daughters, christine and mary ann. i remember luther but i don't remember anyone calling him frederic. he was very nice to me. grandma grace and my mom always loved to see them. they would come and visit with us too.
ben and ruth lived near nashmead. the post office used to be on the old redwine property but when the railroad came in, they changed the post offices to nashmead and spyrock which were south and north of redwine. uncle guy was married 3 times and ben and helen were the children of his first wife so thats why helen lived closer to dos rios. it sort of makes sense that helen would live with her older brother's family when her dad had kids from two other women, usually the new teacher of spyrock school as most of them were.
so the sherburns were living right at the same place at the same time the simmerlys were homesteading, in fact where i remember staying might have been the old sherburn house first. it's a small world after all.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks Spyrock, You have cleared up a lot of lost connections for both my mother and me. It gets really confusing when there are several marriages, and people remarry after the death of a spouse.

I will be gone all day today, so if I am not here that’s why. (That’s a redundant again statement)

Just as an aside, Spy Rock and everything on the other side of the river (West) is part of Round Valley Indian Reservation.

ross sherburn said...

am i correct??? iron peak can be seen from laytonville area and had a lookout on it,years ago? thanks!!!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ross, yes, Iron peak is a very distinctive geographical feature that can clearly be seen North Laytonville. The peak is triangular and pointed on the top. Spy Rock is about four or five miles North West of Iron Peak, down on the Eel River.

ross sherburn said...

yep!thought so,my dad took us up there on a picnic several years ago!maybe its been more than several years ago???anyway, it was an exciting trip for for a child my age.we talked to the woman that worked at the lookout and later on my dad killed a rattlesnake near where we were eating lunch!

Anonymous said...

I used to live at Woodman just south of the simmerly's ranch. They gave me a baby pig once.I rode a grader up a long road to the lookout on iron peak driven by Ben's son.That was over fifty years ago.. Woodman Creek dweller (fish flat).

Ernie Branscomb said...

Hello anon, I used to trout fish in Woodman Creek when I was a little kid. It was some darn fine trout fishing, and we caught a few crawdads too.

Anonymous said...

Yeah,I used to have to go way up from the trestle by the tunnel to the old Barnes cabin. Thats when the trout would start biting. Also my grandfather homesteaded and raised my dad and and uncle on forty acres up by Buck Andersons place.Then we moved below to just about the spur by Woodman's "whistle stop" train station.I sold the place in the eighties. Boy do I regret that.
Beautiful area.

Eel River Scout said...

That is DEFINITELY Spy Rock (North). It is located 5-10 miles North of Dos Rios Along the Eel River. If you go on GOOGLE Earth and ZOOM into Dos Rios follow the river North, It is clearly marked Spy Rock.

There are also petroglyphs on this rock at the top.
http://www.oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt1779n52f/?brand=oac4 There are photos of this Rock from Pliney Goddards field notes at the above address.

Eel River Scout said...

That is definitely the Spy Rock, it's the Spy Rock that you find if you go to the Eel River Canyon at the End of Spy Rock Road. This rock is on the Middle Eel about 5-8 Miles North of Dos Rios on the East side of the river. It is named on GOOGLE Earth and you can clearly identify this rock there. Unknown to most is this rock contains petroglyphs similar to the Spy Rock Road Rock. It was also photographed by Pliney Goddard the Ethnologist from Berkeley who scouted this canyon. Her photos of the rock can be found at: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt1779n52f/?brand=oac4

Chris Guenzler said...

That is my picture from my Trainweb site that is copyrighted. Why wasn't I given photo credit?


Chris Guenzler
http://www.trainweb.org/chris/index

Ernie Branscomb said...

Chris, the photo came to me unattributed. That's why it was on this blog, to find out where it was, and who took the photo. It was correctly attributed to you in the second comment.

I'm always glad to give credit for talent where credit is due. You will notice that I also posted your web connection.

I hope that you get some business from this. Short of that I can remove the photo if you wish.
Ernie

Zach King said...

Yes that is Spyrock, ive climbed it many times. the Train doesnt run through there anymore but my family owns property on the railroad side. there actually used to be a town back in the day called spyrock too. the cabin we have that sits right above the tracks about a mile north of spyrock used to be a post office back in the day. Its such a beautiful place and the waters perfect in the summer. By the way its not lower spyrock. Its just spyrock there is a little spyrock my family named about a mile north not quite too our cabin but we can see it from the deck. If you want better pictures ive got hundreds...

Zach King said...

And we have more photos of all the petroglyph rocks. its not just two, theres three or four. Ive even found arrowheads and spearheads

Zach King said...

Spyrock you had an aunt simmerly?
My great great grandparents had that name .My mom was originally named Vicky Morgan, Diane Morgan was my grandma her maiden name was simmerly.


Frank and Bird Simmerly lived at spyrock had 600 acres cooked for the railroad, and they were my great great grandparents.
His father fred simmerly lived in covelo, my great great great grandfather. There are alot of simmerlys in that area. Do you know them? Then the Morgans were my grandpas side they lived in the cabin we go to today, the simmerlys lived down river just a bit on the point. My grandma and my grandpa met at spyrock. Charles and Arra Morgan were his parents. and we still have that property.