Saturday, December 10, 2011

Marcy's Travel Blog- Cold Spring Tavern - Stagecoach Relay Station!

Kenny the West Coast canine kept us company!

My friend and hostess, Phyllis, announced we were going to explore the mountains! (I was hoping I wasn't going to be hiking up huge cliffs with the help of ropes and other climbing paraphernalia!) What she had in mind was viewing some beautiful mountainous landscapes as well as visiting a truly unique Stagecoach stop. (Whew!)

We headed on Highway 154 up through the mountains. Our destination was an old Stagecoach stop called Cold Spring Tavern. We turned onto Stagecoach Road. As we curved around this mountain road, I could not imagine a horse drawn coach maneuvering the steep terrain! While the scenery was spectacular, high cliffs had signs everywhere warning of "rock slides". With just a bit of imagination, one could get a sense of the stagecoach drivers life, and the perils of the passengers.

This place is truly a walk back in time! Nestled in the woods amid the hilly terrain, the Tavern sits on 40 mountainous acres. There are 52 springs on the property as well as eleven other buildings besides the tavern.

Kenny Canine and I in front of the Tavern

The Tavern looks much the same as it did when it was established in 1886!

Customers are greeted by authentic furnishings and a warm fire!

The Log Cabin Bar

The Log Cabin Bar was once a water bottling plant. Now it features live music on most weekends. On the back bar are two authentic wagon wheels with hand hammered rims. One whole end of the room is the hugh fireplace with it's 800 pound keystone and telephone pole mantel.

Stage Driver's Bunkhouse

An old piano sits on the side porch of the Drivers bunkhouse

The Ojal Jail

The Ojal Jail was constructed in 1873. It was given to Cold Spring by a woman in her eighties and trucked over two mountains to it's resting place at the tavern, all because she wanted it to have a good home! For that trip it was featured in "Ripley's Believe It or Not"!

Blisshaven cabin

"Blisshaven" was constructed about 1942. This property was purchased in 1941 by Adelaided Ovington. She and her daughter Audrey lived at Blisshaven for a time while operating the Tavern. Two other buildings are on the property- Chinese Gang house, and the Library (which houses over 10,000 cook books from around the world)!

The above sign was on the wall of the Chinese Gang house- constructed to house Chinese laborers who constructed the San Marcos Pass Toll road about 1868. It now serves as the cornerstone of "Blisshaven Gardens" which is used for special events.

Bench made of planks and wheels.

Part of the landscape near one of the springs

I'd like to share with you the "Ten Commandments For Stage Passengers" - Taken from "Stagecoach Days In Santa Barbara" by Walker A. Tompkins:

01. Abstainance from liquor is prefered. If you must drink, share the bottle. To do otherwise makes you appear selfish. And don;t overlook the driver!

02. If ladies are present, gentlemen are urged to forgo smoking cigars and pipes, as the oder of same is repugnant to the weaker sex. Chewing tobacco is permitted if you spit WITH the wind, not against it!

03. Gentlemen passengers must refrain from the use of rough language in the presence of ladies and children. This rule does not apply to the driver, whose team may not be able to understand genteel language.

04. Robes  are provided for your comfort during cold or wet weather. Hogging robes will not be tolerated. The offender will be obliged to ride outside with the driver.

05. Snoring is disgusting. If you sleep. sleep quietly.

06. Don't use your fellow passenger's shoulder for a pillow! He or she may not understand, and friction could result!

07. Frearms may be kept on your person, for use in  emergancies. Do not discharge them for pleasure, or shoot at wild animals along the roadside. The noise riles the horses!

08.  In the event of a runaway, remain calm! Jumping from the coach may kill you, leave you injured or at the mercy of the elements , the highway men, and  coyotes.

09. Topics of discussions to be avoided have to do with religion, politics, and above all, stagecoach robbery or accidents.

10. Gentlemen guilty of unchivalrous behavior toward lady passengers will be put off the stagecoach. It is a long walk back to Santa Barbara. A word to the wise is sufficient.

I guess those rules could apply to passengers on a bus or a plane as well! LOVE it!

The "Cold Spring Arch" Bridge on Hwy 154- just beyond Stagecoach Road

As we were departing the Cold Spring Tavern, I could almost hear the coach wheels in the distance, -the bustle inside the Tavern, getting a meal ready for the passengers,- and someone getting ready fresh horses to help complete the journey.

When next I visit this unique place, I'll have to plan om sitting down to one of those wonderful meals that are famous here!

The following are some of the beautiful views of the area.  No matter where I pointed my camera, the majestic beauty was there! It's not just the terrain, or the many trees and plants, but a combination of the sky, the earth, and the wonderful air and feel of the place! Heavenly!


This area has a multitude of Wineries, and next we'll be exploring a few of those! Come join us on our next adventure!

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