Ghosts & the Supernatural – During dusk, some people have made claim that they could hear Native American chanting. The Native Americans came up from the Central Valley and settled in near the river to fish and hunt.
If you are hiking the trails here at Cronan Ranch Trailhead, you will see many rocks. Some hikers and horse riders have made claim of hearing pounding on the rocks. Could this be Tommy Knockers? In 1849, during the Gold Rush, parts of the South Fork American River were mined for gold. This is where they hear the knocking on rocks. One of the early miners was William Bacchi and when the gold rush fever died down in 1856, Bacchi purchased the land and brought cattle to this ranch.
Legend has it that sheepherder, cattleherder Dusty Brannon haunts these hills. There have been reports of people seeing a cowboy on his horse rounding up some phantom sheep. As people watch this cowboy, he merely fades away into nothingness, along with his sheep.
During this hike, I was fighting off a cold, but somehow I survived the hike. Our main goal was to hike to the 2003 movie set of “Love Comes Softly”, starring Katherine Heigl and Dale Midkiff. The movie set is pretty run down and it’s a hazard to walk inside the movie set, so they have it closed off.
Near Cronan Ranch Trailhead is Pilot Hill Cemetery. We stopped at this cemetery. Some background on the cemetery: Pilot Hill Cemetery, also known as Centerville Cemetery, was established in 1850 for the community of Centerville located near in what is now known as the town of Pilot Hill. The Pilot Hill Cemetery was established during the beginning of the Gold Rush. There were many miners and growing communities in this region. While the first recorded burial was in 1850, it is possible that this area was used for burials before that time. In 2002, the property was deeded to El Dorado County.
At Pilot Hill Cemetery a “Woman in Blue” is sometimes seen wandering the graveyard. Legend has it, she is the widow of a miner, that lost his life. When her husband died, she committed suicide and spends eternity looking for her lost love. Also, some people that have walked in this cemetery have heard the sounds of moaning. While we were at the cemetery, we saw 2 police vehicles blaring their sirens and going up the hill. Now, back to Cronan Ranch.
The Cronan Ranch was first purchased by the Central Pacific Railroad through a Federal land patent in 1887. Michael Cronan took possession of the property from the Central Pacific Railroad in 1891. The ranch was grazed by the Cronan family until 1918. In 1918, that land was sold to George and James Murphy. The Murphy family used the ranch for a time and then sold the property to Byron and Francis Bacchi in 1945 for inclusion in the Bacchi Ranch. Although this portion of the Bacchi Ranch was sold in 2004 to create the Park, the Bacchi Ranch remains active today on nearby lands.
After our hike, we were headed for Lincoln, to visit my sister-in-law Abigail “Abby” Stinson, her husband Ryan and son Roman. We had to leave early, because my cold got worse and I started getting the chills. On our way home, I was at a green light and did not proceed, because my head was very foggy from the cold and a Lincoln police officer told me to go when the light turns green. I apologized and did what he said. We made it home safely.
Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Esoteric Detective
Halo Paranormal Investigations (HPI International)