Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Red House in Franktown Creek

The Red House is located in the Carson Range in Nevada, where the flume crosses Franktown Creek [1]: mountain bikers typically climb up to the Red House and the various trails in that area from the west side (Lake Tahoe), avoiding the steepness of the east-side trails from Washoe Valley and Carson City. But they enjoy the effortless downhill ride on that side. While I was hiking up from the the Lakeview Gate Trailhead at the end of Hobart Road, I met quite a few bikers taking that direction.

Although the house is showing some fading red color, its name reportedly derives—according to an interpreted panel in the front yard—from the name of Harry “Red” McGovern, who was a caretaker here. The house was one of the many caretaker stations along the water routes, which the Virginia and Gold Hill Water Company (VGHWC) built during the time of the booming, strongly water-dependent mining business. The VGHWC also established phone lines in 1877, operational until 1957, and at the Red House Station one can see remnants of Jeffrey pine telephone poles, wire, ceramic and glass insulators. A 1924 Dodge Roadster continues to rust in the front yard. The picnic table next to the interpreted panel is a more recent addition. The Red House property was acquired by Nevada State Parks in 1963.

Getting to the Red House
From the the Lakeview Gate Trailhead in northwest Carson City, follow the trail to the “Ghost of a Sawmill” and to Hobart Reservoir. From Hobart Reservoir, continue the downhill path through Franktown Creek for about one mile, past the Red House Dam, until you see the Red House across the creek to your left. The one-way distance between the Lakeview Gate and the gate-free house is approximately 6.5 miles, including an elevation change of almost 2500 feet.  

Reference for cyclists
[1] ScottyS: Red House Flume Trail [www.mbpost.com/trail/263841/red-house-flume-trail.html].

1 comment:

SherryK said...

Harry "Red" McGovern was my great uncle - thanks for remembering him!

Sherry McGovern Kappel