KING CITY — A Spring Tour of the Bitterwater and Lonoak area is being planned for Saturday, April 13, by the San Antonio Valley Historical Association (SAVHA) of Southern Monterey County. Interested participants are encouraged to save the date.
Featured this year in the group’s annual event will be an update on the King City Visitor and History Center by City Manager Steve Adams when the group assembles at Hestia coffee in downtown King City to start the tour at 9 a.m.
From there, the group will caravan in private vehicles to Lonoak and Bitterwater in what is locally known as Shooting the Loop, an approximately 40-mile route that travels through some of the most picturesque scenes found in rural California.
The group plans to take Lonoak Road east of King City to the intersection of Highway 25, where lifelong resident and rancher Bill Rist plans to share memories of the area.
From there, the group will proceed to Tully Hall, a historic building constructed before 1900 that has served as a school, Grange Hall and community center. While lunch is served at the hall, speakers will talk about the history of Tully Hall and the water line that serves the Bitterwater Valley. Steve Schmidt will talk about the Pine Hill Cemetery in Bitterwater, where his parents are buried.
After lunch the group will visit the Schmidt Ranch on Highway 25, current home of Shari Schmidt and Jeff Popnoe, to learn about their property, which features a historic barn and stage stop house.
Final stop will be the intersection of Highway 25 and Bitterwater Road, which was the location of the old Associated Oil Pipeline that ran from near Coalinga to Monterey. An interesting feature of the area is that the San Andreas Fault runs through the Bitterwater Valley. Another interesting feature is that the area is partly in Monterey County and partly in San Benito County.
Pre-paid reservations are required for the event. Call or text 831-594-3740 or email [email protected].
The event is being organized by SAVHA members Shari Schmidt and Jeff Popnoe, along with John and Karen Jernigan and the board members of SAVHA.
SAVHA is dedicated to the preservation of area history with a focus on preserving the past to better understand the present and future.