In mining communities, it was often the enterprising people of the time who struck it rich. They became wealthy not by swinging a pick or hefting a shovel but by providing services to the miners. Shovels could cost $50 and bartenders often made hundreds or even thousands of dollars profit on a single barrel of whiskey.
In 1869, several men built the first road into Bullion Canyon and then set up a toll station. At this time there were several rich claims being worked in the canyon and it was now possible to haul ore by wagon.. To the dismay of the toll road operators, the miners built a second road into the canyon to avoid paying a toll their teamsters considered unreasonable.
This second road closely follows the same route we drive today. The remains of the toll road are visible on the right side of the road (north) and lie 25 feet above this stop. Look for short, graded sections of roadbed now overgrown with oak. The course of this old road can be seen from this spot for a distance of about 150 feet up and down the canyon. All of these early roads were built by pick, shovel and dynamite.