Sportsman’s Hall has been in Pollock Pines since the 1850’s.
The history of Sportsman’s Hall is a road map to the history of Pollock Pines. In all of its many transformations, one thing stayed constant. Good, plentiful food was always part of it.
Sportsman’s Hall is the site of California Registered Historical Landmark #704:
“This was the site of Sportsman’s Hall, also known as Twelve-Mile House, the hotel operated in the latter 1850s and 1860s by John and James Blair. A stopping place for stages and teams of the Comstock, it became a relay station of the Central Overland Pony Express. Here, at 7:40 A.M., April 4, 1860, pony rider William (Sam) Hamilton riding in from Placerville, handed the express mail to Warren Upson, who, two minutes later, sped on his way eastward.”
Sportsman’s Hall has been in Pollock Pines since about 1853. Pony Express Trail, the road in front of Sportsman’s, really is that. It is part of the California route of the Pony Express.
Pony Express Trail up until the 1960’s was US Highway 50. It was a main, historical route from Echo Summit, down the American River Canyon, through Pollock Pines, then Placerville, to Sacramento for all of the freight wagons and travelers who regularly crossed the Sierra.
Lumber interests hauled logs on the road, and through the years the road was steadily worked on to make it an all weather route. Sportsman’s Hall was a major stop for anyone traveling through this part of the Sierra. Any freight wagon going over Echo Summit passed in front Sportsman’s, and they all stopped here.
Originally it was a hotel, restaurant, and a stage stop that could accommodate 500 horses, with extensive corrals. It is 12 miles to the east of Placerville and was also known as 12 Mile House.
It has burned to the ground and been rebuilt twice. Part of the original structure still exists, and if you look carefully, you will see the beams, hand hewed, that hold the roof up.
It is an amazing historical part of California history. A full accounting of it’s history can be found at Marilyn Parkers “ The Pollock Pines Epic”.
Marilyn, and her husband Ron, have been in Pollock Pines for a very long time. Both are retired teachers, two of the finest teachers who ever entered a classroom, who taught in the Pollock Pines Elementary School District.