Community Profiles – Pollock Pines
Many towns along the Mother Lode were named after early settlers who located there. These people were usually miners, farmers or ranchers who came to California before or shortly after it became a state and were the first to settle in an area. A few of the names that come immediately to mind are Georgetown, Jamestown, Sutter Creek and Kelsey.
But one town, Pollock Pines, was named after the people who actually created it, and they arrived here not during the Gold Rush, but early in the 20th century.
The part of El Dorado County that we now know as Pollock Pines was once just a spot along the Placerville-Carson Valley road that runs east and west over the Sierra Nevada. That is not to say that the area was uninhabited, quite the opposite is true.
Between Sportsman’s Hall and the Fourteen Mile House, which was located at what is now the parking lot at Safeway, there were two other stopping places for travelers along the road, the Illinois House (Twelve Mile House) and the Thirteen Mile House.
According to “The Pollock Pines Epic” by Marilyn Parker (1988), Sportsman’s Hall, at times called the Eleven Mile House (and sometimes Twelve Mile House), was originally owned by a D. C. Dealy, who in 1853 claimed one hundred and sixty acres at this location along the Placerville-Carson Valley Road, where he established a ranch and built Sportsman’s Hall.
The following year, he sold everything to John Blair, one of four brothers that had immigrated to America from Scotland.
John’s brother, James Blair, came west to join him about the time that silver was discovered in the Comstock Lode of Nevada. This discovery resulted in the Placerville-Carson Road becoming crowded with freight and passenger traffic to and from the mines.
Although the Blair brothers would become better known for J. and J. Blair Logging and Lumber Company, they took advantage of the rapidly increasing need for accommodations and enlarged Sportsman’s Hall to hold 150 travellers, also adding stables for 500 horses and corrals that would hold even more. In 1868 Sportsman’s Hall burned down and was immediately rebuilt to handle the traffic along the road.
With the completion of the railroad over the Sierra through Auburn and Truckee in 1869, traffic on the road became only a trickle of what it had been and the Blair brothers leased out the hall and returned to lumbering. For the next 140 plus years the ownership of Sportsman’s Hall passed through many hands. It still remains as one of the oldest restaurants in the Mother Lode...
Read more here: http://www.dougstepsout.com/2013/09/09/community-profiles-pollock-pines/