Welcome to the
Mountain Charlie History Tour.


[ Portrait of Mountain Charlie. ]

Charles Henry
"Mountain Charlie"
McKiernan.


Have you ever wondered...
Who was this "Mountain Charlie" anyway?
Now you can join us in a virtual tour of
places where our chapter has erected
historical markers or plaques in Charlie's
honor, and learn more about his fascinating
and colorful life.

Or, if you would like to visit the locations
in person, I suggest beginning your tour at
Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose.

After visiting Charlie's gravesite,
go West on Curtner Avenue to Hwy.17.

Go southbound on Hwy.17 through the town of Los Gatos.
Take the Summit Road Exit-WEST, then make a very sharp
turn onto Mountain Charlie Road heading South-West.

On this road, named in his honor, was where he had
his Cabin and survived his legendary "Bear Fight."

Then continue on Mountain Charlie Road to "Glenwood,"
and Charlie's Big Tree.

Return on Old Santa Cruz Highway to the
"Patchen" plaque, near Holy City.

Because these mountain roads are very narrow
and hazardous, please drive carefully.

Except for the last two plaques in Weaverville and Murphys,
California, all are within an easy days drive.


For a full list of all the plaques that Chapter No. 1850 has dedicated,
Please go to our ECV1850 PLAQUE MENU page.



Gold Bar


ECV1850 Plaque:
Charles Henry McKiernan


Mountain Charlie's Gravesite


Mountain Charlie's Headstone


CALIFORNIA REGISTERED
POINT OF HISTORICAL
INTEREST No. SCL-053

Victorian Bar

CHARLES HENRY McKIERNAN
"MOUNTAIN CHARLIE"
1825 - JANUARY 16, 1892
MOST COLORFUL OF ALL CHARAC-
TERS IN SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS.
THE FIRST WHITE SETTLER IN
SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAIN SECTION. A
PIONEER HUNTER, RANCHER, TEAMSTER,
AND ROAD BUILDER.
HIS MOTTO WAS "RIGHT WRONGS
NOBODY"
DEDICATED JULY 20, 1974
MOUNTAIN CHARLIE CHAPTER NO.1850
E CLAMPUS VITUS

Victorian Bar

Located at the North-West corner of Section-Q
(San Jose Avenue and Machpelah Avenue) Oak Hill Memorial Park
300 Curtner Avenue (at Monterey Road)
San Jose.
Santa Clara County, CA

(408) 297-2447

Use the main entrance at Curtner Avenue and Little Orchard Street.
Map and directions to the gravesite are available at the cemetery office.

GPS
  Charles Henry McKiernan  
WGS84 Datum
N 37.29924°
W -121.86301°



Gold Bar


ECV 1850 Plaque:
Mountain Charlie Road


Photo of plaque wide


Photo of plaque closeup


MOUNTAIN CHARLIE ROAD
IN 1858, THE SANTA CRUZ TURNPIKE
COMPANY AWARDED A CONTRACT IN THE
AMOUNT OF $6000 TO CHARLES HENRY
"MOUNTAIN CHARLIE" McKIERNAN AND
HIRAM SCOTT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION
OF A ROAD. THE ROAD FROM THE SCOTT
HOUSE, LOCATED IN WHAT IS NOW SCOTTS
VALLEY, TO THE SUMMIT WAS LATER KNOWN
AS THE McKIERNAN TOLL ROAD. IT SUB-
SEQUENTLY BECAME PART OF SANTA CRUZ
COUNTY ROAD SYSTEM ON AUGUST 27, 1878
WHEN THE SANTA CRUZ BOARD OF SUPER-
VISORS ISSUED A WARRANT FOR $600.00
TO CHARLES McKIERNAN IN CONSIDERATION
OF SAID ABANDONMENT BY HIM.
DEDICATED OCTOBER 9, 1982
MOUNTAIN CHARLIE CHAPTER No. 1850
E CLAMPUS VITUS

"RIGHT WRONGS NOBODY"

Victorian Bar

This plaque is located on
Mountain Charlie Road,
50 Feet from Summit Road,
just west of Hwy.17
in Santa Cruz County, CA.

GPS
  Mountain Charlie Road  
WGS84 Datum
N 37.14415°
W -121.98543°



Gold Bar


ECV1850 Plaque:
Mountain Charlie's Cabin


Photo of plaque wide


Photo of plaque closeup


"RIGHT WRONGS NOBODY"
MOUNTAIN CHARLIES CABIN
NEAR THIS SITE, CHARLES HENRY
"MOUNTAIN CHARLIE" McKIERNAN,
NATIVE OF IRELAND, ERECTED HIS
CABIN IN 1850. THE CABIN WAS
BUILT OF WHIP-SAWED LUMBER CUT
FROM NEARBY REDWOOD GROVES.
WHIP-SAWING WAS A CRUDE FORM
OF LUMBERING PERFORMED BY TWO
MEN, ONE IN A PIT UNDER THE LOG
AND THE OTHER ABOVE.
DEDICATED OCTOBER 25, 1975
MOUNTAIN CHARLIE CHAPTER No. 1850
AND
MONTEREY VIEJO CHAPTER No. 1846
E CLAMPUS VITUS

Victorian Bar

Located on the south side of Mountain Charlie Road.
0.9 Mile from the Hwy.17/Summit Road intersection,
and about 50 yards east of Riva Ridge Road.
Santa Cruz County, CA.
This is a private home.
Please do not disturb the residents.

GPS
  Mountain Charlie  
  Cabin  
WGS84 Datum
N 37.13769°
W -121.98746°



Gold Bar


ECV1850 Plaque:
Mountain Charlie Bear Fight.


Drawing of Charlie's bear fight


Photo of original plaque location

(Original location on Mountain Charlie Road.)


Photo of new plaque location

(Monument's new post-quake location.)


MOUNTAIN CHARLIE
BEAR FIGHT
NEAR HERE IN MOUNTAIN CHARLIE GULCH ON
MAY 8, 1854, CHARLES "MOUNTAIN CHARLIE"
McKIERNAN AND A FRIEND NAMED TAYLOR WERE
ATTACKED BY A GRIZZLY BEAR. THE BEAR
SPRANG FROM A THICKET, BOTH MEN FIRED,
BUT THE BEAR GRABBED MOUNTAIN CHARLIE,
BITING HIM ON THE ARMS AND FACE. A PIECE
OF SKULL ABOUT 4 INCHES SQUARE WAS
BITTEN FROM OVER MOUNTAIN CHARLIE'S LEFT
EYE AND NOSE BY THE BEAR.
Dr.T.J. INGERSOLL OF SAN JOSE PREPARED A
PLATE OF SILVER AND APPLIED IT TO THE AREA
OF THE MISSING SKULL AT McKIERNAN'S REQUEST.
IN THE ENSUING WEEK, THE PLATE WAS NOT
HEALING AND IT WAS REMOVED AGAINST MOUN-
TAIN CHARLIE'S PROTESTS. ABOUT A YEAR LATER
AN OPERATION TO REMOVE AN ABSCESS UNDER
THE BRAIN RELIEVED HIS INTOLERABLE PAIN.
MOUNTAIN CHARLIE WAS MUCH DISFIGURED FROM
HIS WOUNDS, BUT HE SURVIVED ANOTHER 38
YEARS. THUS BEGAN THE LEGEND AND FOLKLORE
ABOUT THE MAN WITH THE "SILVER SKULL."
DEDICATED OCTOBER 15, 1983 IN MEMORY OF
CLAMPER CHRIS MISNER BY HIS FAMILY AND
MOUNTAIN CHARLIE CHAPTER No.1850.
E CLAMPUS VITUS.
"RIGHT WRONGS NOBODY"


Victorian Bar

Please note:
This monument was heavily damaged during the
Loma Prieta Earthquake on October 17, 1989,
and is currently at its new location
overlooking Mountain Charlie Gulch in
Santa Cruz County, CA.

From Mountain Charlie Road, turn west on Pierce Road.
(2.1 miles south of Summit Road/Hwy.17 intersection)
Make an immediate right turn onto a private road and
follow it 0.2 (two-tenths) of a mile to the monument
located on your right, under a large Oak tree.

GPS
  Mountain Charlie  
  Bear Fight  
WGS84 Datum
N 37.12681°
W -121.98897°



Gold Bar


ECV1850 Plaque:
Mountain Charlie Big Tree


Photo of plaque wide


Photo of plaque closeup


MOUNTAIN CHARLIE
BIG TREE
NAMED FOR CHARLES HENRY "MOUNTAIN CHARLIE"
McKIERNAN, WHO WAS ONE OF THE FIRST WHITE
SETTLERS IN THE SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAIN AREA.
ONE OF THE LARGEST TREES OF ITS SPECIES,
THIS SEQUOIA SEMPERVIRENS WAS ORIGINALLY
OVER 300 FEET HIGH. THE TREE STANDS TODAY
AT 260 FEET FROM THE GROUND, HAVING BEEN
BROKEN OFF IN A STORM YEARS AGO. IT IS
18 FEET IN DIAMETER AT THE BASE, 60 FEET
IN CIRCUMFERENCE, AND OVER 5 FEET IN DI-
AMETER AT THE TOP. IN 1880 WHEN MOUNTAIN
CHARLIE BEGAN TO TIMBER THIS AREA, HE
PLANNED TO CUT BOTH THE BIG TREE, KNOWN
THEN AS"KING OF THE FORREST," AND THE
"QUEEN," WHOSE STUMP STILL REMAINS AS A TESTI-
MONY TO THAT GRAND TREE. PROBLEMS WITH
THE "QUEEN" CHANGED THAT DECISION AND
THE "KING" STILL STANDS TODAY AS IT HAS
FOR OVER A THOUSAND YEARS.
CALIFORNIA REGISTERED POINT OF
HISTORICAL INTEREST No. SCR-005
DEDICATED JUNE 9, 1984
MOUNTAIN CHARLIE CHAPTER No. 1850
E CLAMPUS VITUS
"RIGHT WRONGS NOBODY"


Victorian Bar


Plaque located 450 feet North of the old Glenwood Highway,
across from the Big Redwood Park Subdivision
Glenwood.
Santa Cruz County, CA.

GPS
  Mountain Charlie
Big Tree  
WGS84 Datum
N 37.11700°
W -121.98753°



Gold Bar


Patchen:
State Registered
Landmark No. 448


Photo of plaque wide


Photo of plaque closeup


PATCHEN
"MOUNTAIN CHARLIE" McKIERNAN, ONE OF THE EARLIEST
RESIDENTS OF THE SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS, SETTLED
NEAR HERE IN 1850, AND JOHN MARTIN SCHULTHEIS AND
HIS WIFE HOMESTEADED LAND ABOUT A MILE FROM
HERE IN 1852. THEIR HOME WAS STILL STANDING (1950).
THE PATCHEN POST OFFICE, NAMED FOR A FAMOUS
RACE HORSE, WAS LOCATED IN THIS VICINITY 1872-1920's.
 
STATE REGISTERED LANDMARK No. 448

TABLET PLACED BY CALIFORNIA CENTENNIAL COMMISSION
BASE FURNISHED BY LOS GATOS LIONS CLUB
DEDICATED MAY 20, 1950

Victorian Bar

RESTORED BY
LOS GATOS CHAPTER DAR
1968

Victorian Bar

Note: Although this is not an ECV monument, it deserves
a special place among those honoring Mountain Charlie.

This monument is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains,
at the intersection of Old Santa Cruz Highway (P.M.3.57) and
Mountain Charlie Road. (1.2 Miles South-East of Holy City.
Santa Clara County, CA


From Highway 17, take the Summit Road exit.
Go East a short distance to Mountain Charlie Road.
Turn on Mountain Charlie Road and follow it east (downhill)
to Old Santa Cruz Highway.
The Patchen monument is in the small turnout area,
on the other side of the intersection.

GPS
  Patchen  
WGS84 Datum
N 37.14862°
W -121.97443°



Gold Bar


ECV1850 Plaque:
Mountain Charlie
(Weaverville, CA)



Photo of plaque closeup


MOUNTAIN CHARLIE
CHARLES "MOUNTAIN CHARLIE" McKIERNAN, A NATIVE
OF IRELAND, MADE HIS FORTUNE AS A TEAMSTER NEAR THE
WEAVERVILLE MINES. BUSINESS WAS PROSPEROUS UNTIL THE
LOCAL NATIVES RAN "HIS MULES" OFF, FORCING HIM TO MOVE
TO SANTA CLARA COUNTY, WHERE HE CONTINUED HIS TEAMSTER
OPERATIONS AMONG HIS MANY OTHER VENTURES AND BECAME
THE "CELESTIAL" CLAMPATRIACH OF THE ANCIENT AND
HONORABLE ORDER OF E CLAMPUS VITUS, MOUNTAIN CHARLIE
CHAPTER. HIS MOTTO: "RIGHT WRONGS NOBODY."
DEDICATED NOVEMBER 8, 1980,
TRINITARIANUS CHAPTER No. 62
AND PREVIOUSLY DEDICATED IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY
OCTOBER 11, 1980,
MOUNTAIN CHARLIE CHAPTER No. 1850
E CLAMPUS VITUS

Victorian Bar

Plaque is located at the intersection
of State Highways 3 and 299.
Weaverville.
Trinity County, CA.

GPS*
  Mountain Charlie  
  (Weaverville, CA)  
WGS84 Datum
N 40.73456°
W -122.94250°
*Approximate



Gold Bar


ECV1850 Plaque:
Mountain Charlie
ECV Wall Of Comparative Ovations
(Murphys, CA)


Mountain Charlie Plaque. W.O.C.O. Murphys, CA.


Mountain Charlie Plaque. W.O.C.O. Murphys, CA.


Mountain Charlie Plaque. W.O.C.O. Murphys, CA.


CHARLES HENRY (MOUNTAIN CHARLIE) McKIERNAN
1825 - 1892
NATIVE OF IRELAND WHO SERVED WITH THE BRITISH
ARMY IN NEW ZEALAND. CAME TO CALIFORNIA IN
1849. ENGAGED IN MINING AND FREIGHTING BY
PACK MULE TO THE TRINITY RIVER DIGGINGS.
AFTER SETTLING IN THE SANTA CRUZ MOUNT-
AINS IN 1850, HE BECAME LEGENDARY AS A
HUNTER, RANCHER, TEAMSTER, ROAD BUILDER,
LUMBERMAN, AND "CELESTIAL" CLAMPATRIARCH
OF MOUNTAIN CHARLIE CHAPTER No. 1850,
E CLAMPUS VITUS.
MOUNTAIN CHARLIE

Victorian Bar

W.O.C.O., Oldtimers Museum. Murphys, California.

Visit this Mountain Charlie plaque and many others at
the famous ECV Wall of Comparative Ovations on the
historic Peter L. Traver Building and Oldtimer's Museum,
Main Street and Sheep Ranch Roads.
Murphys.
Calaveras County, CA.

Museum is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Hours: 11am - 4pm.

The un-official Clamper Capital of the world.

GPS*
  Murphys  
WGS84 Datum
N 38.15277°
W -120.46234°
*Approximate



Gold Bar







To go directly to the indivual History Tour plaque of your choice, click on the links below.

red ball Mountain Charlie Grave.

red ball Mountain Charlie Road.

red ball Mountain Charlie's Cabin.

red ball Mountain Charlie's Bear Fight.

red ball Mountain Charlie's Big Tree.

red ball Patchen CSHL #448.

red ball Mountain Charlie in Weaverville, CA.

red ball Plaque - Mountain Charlie on W.O.C.O., Murphys, CA.





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