Mileposts #1134 – Devil Canyon Toll Road Part 2

By Bill Pumford, Image from the Brad Burns Collection

In 1917 the Devil Canyon Ranger Station was built at the lower end of the canyon. It eventually became a Guard Station as fire prevention and fire fighting duties were added to their responsibilities. In 1934 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) refurbished the station and in the 1980s the structure was demolished having served its purpose for many decades. This week’s image is of the Devil Canyon Guard Station courtesy of Brad Burns. In 1926 the San Bernardino National Forest set up the Devil Canyon Nursery and Forest Experiment Station also at the lower end of the canyon. Its purpose was to grow trees and shrubs to plant on fire-denuded slopes and to study the best methods of fire and erosion control. In 1920 the city of San Bernardino purchased Devil Canyon for $25,000 for the purpose of extracting underground water that was available. The city felt that the water pipes near the deteriorating Devil Canyon road might be in danger so Doyle and Flanagan agreed to close the road. In the late 1960s the project to build and provide water from Silverwood Lake included building tunnels and water pipes down Devil Canyon. This eventually ended with the complete closure of the canyon to all traffic – foot and auto. In 1978 a plaque was made to remember the Devil Canyon Toll Road. The plaque read: “Devil Canyon Toll Road. The old Toll Road built in 1875 and maintained by the pioneer Doyle family for several decades passed very near the monument before entering the Devil Canyon on its way to the sawmills in the mountains. Dedicated by Native Sons of the Golden West. Charles E. Kolbert – Grand President. Nov 1, 1978 in memory of U.S. Senator James D. Phelan”. The plaque was on a large rock near the intersection of Kendall and University but, sadly, the plaque was stolen many years ago.

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