|Location of Gold Gulch and its spur along the|
Felton Branch. (Courtesy Duncan Nanney)
The location that would become Fahihn and Forest Lakes began its life, oddly enough, as a gold prospecting region. Gold was discovered on Frederick Augustus Hihn's property along a creek which quickly became named Gold Gulch around 1880.
|A sluice along Gold Gulch operated by C.H. Jewitt.|
(From Report of the State Mineralogist)
By 1899, Frederick Hihn had other operations in the Gold Gulch region and the Fahihn Flag-Stop, also called Fahihn Switch, located 76 south of San Francisco via Alameda Point according to the 1899 Station Book, catered to his operations there. It hosted a B-class freight station including probably one or two sidings to hold waiting cars. A spur line (hence the "switch") also headed up along what is today Lakeview Drive to a spot near the top of the creek. The flag-stop was without doubt named after F.A. Hihn himself who owned most of the land in the region including a lime kiln and brick yard up Gold Gulch. His spur line most certainly catered to his lime operations in the area, though it is unclear whether it was a short-line narrow-gauge railroad or simply a ox spur. The last mention of the site is in 1908, which suggests Hihn sold his properties soon after this date to Weltha A. and Thomas L. Bell.
|Original property sign for Forest Lakes. (Courtesy Howard Rugg)|
The names of Gold Gulch and Forest Lakes both survive today along Highway 9. Forest Lakes is an insular community unified by the Forest Lakes Mutual Water Company, a remnant of the original Bell property subdivision there. It is located on the west side of Highway nine about a mile south of Henry Cowell Redwood State Park. Gold Gulch, likewise, is a private community located just south of the entrance to Forest Lakes on the east side of the road.
The location of the physical railroad stop is not entirely known. The right-of-way passed through the current Gold Gulch property but the station was likely near River Lane, where the right-of-way is fairly level with the main road. South of that location, the property of Henry Cowell prohibited a station, while any location north of that site would not have provided enough space for the Gold Gulch lime spur. Further investigation of the history of both locations is ongoing.
- California State Mining Bureau, Report of the State Mineralogist, Vol 17 (1921).
- Donald Thomas Clark, Santa Cruz Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary. (Scotts Valley, CA: Kestrel Press, 2008).
- Edward Sanford Harrison, History of Santa Cruz County, California (1892).
- Southern Pacific System: List of Officers, Agencies and Stations, 1899.