Saturday, 25 May 2024

Ely Stage Stop move completed Sunday

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A Solares House Moving truck tows the Ely Stage Stop toward its new location. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



KELSEYVILLE – After weeks of final preparations, the Ely Stage Stop was moved to its new home on Sunday.


The move was originally scheduled to take place over the next week, with the house being moved in stages across Highway 29 and then through cattle pastures and oak woodland.


However a lot of prep work completed this past week apparently allowed Solares House Moving – the Bay Area firm with the contract to complete the move – to complete the move in one day.


On Thursday the house had been moved from its original location to a staging area down toward S Bar S Ranch where it would cross the highway. A trail also was cleared across the open ground to the site of a new Ely Stage Stop museum along Soda Bay Road, which will be owned by the county but run by the Lake County Historical Society.


The work day began early on Sunday, with Caltrans closing the highway at 6 a.m. and California Highway Patrol standing by.


A Pacific Gas & Electric crew worked to raise power lines to let the house – reportedly built around 1859-1860 – pass underneath.


With the lines raised and the house hooked up to a semi towing truck, the house began to move across Highway 29 and then through the fields just before 8 a.m.


Historical Society President Randy Ridgel and wife Jackie, the group's secretary, along with Board of Directors member Kevin Engle, were on hand to witness the move, recording it with both film and photography.


The house movers stopped to build a bridge over a part of Thurston Creek and continued the move in the afternoon.


Kelly Cox, the county's chief administrative officer, watched the move throughout the day. He said the house finally moved up the hill to the museum site at about 5 p.m. after a few hours of “painstakingly slow” progress. At the final push the movers used a cable to pull the house up, inch by inch, said Cox.


County Deputy Redevelopment Director Eric Seely, who was away this week and unable to be there for the move, was given an update on the progress via cell phone, said Cox.


Seely has spent several years working to make the museum project a reality. Cox said Seely was glad to hear the house had survived the move and safely arrived at its new location.


Cox said next come the foundation, roof and siding, which will be done in stages. Seely said the work will be done in stages, as funding allows.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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A Pacific Gas & Electric crew prepared the power lines to be raised so the house could pass underneath. Photo by John Jensen.

 

 

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The stage stop building, just before it began its move across the highway. Photo by John Jensen.

 

 

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On Sunday, the house was towed along a dirt path cleared for the trip. Photo by Elizabeth Larson.



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