Topsy Grade Historical Marker - Klamath County Museum - Klamath Falls, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
N 42° 13.712 W 121° 46.498
10T E 601091 N 4675876
This historical marker was relocated from its original location to the Klamath County Museum in 2008 and notes a historical passageway that was traveled by multiple entities many years ago.
Waymark Code: WMJBJR
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 10/25/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member ddtfamily
Views: 4

Located at the Klamath County Museum is a historical marker which was originally placed by the Daughters of the American Colonists in 1970 along what is known as Topsy Grade Road and then relocated to this museum in 2008. The marker reads:



In 1846, first crossed the
Applegate Trail. The Southern
Wagon Road and Topsy Road
made original junction. An Indian
Trail, at first; then the
Soldiers traversed these roads and
in 1863, the Pony Express Trail
was used to carry messages from
Fort Klamath to nearest telegraph
line at Henley, California.

There is a placard near this marker that explains in more detail the history behind Topsy Grade Road and this marker and reads:

Topsy Grade
Topsy Road, the first good road into the Klamath Basin, was built in the 1870s (by H.C. Tichnor). The most difficult section, known as Topsy Grade, was chiseled from the southeast side of the Klamath River Canyon. Though narrow and steep, the road remained the primary route leading south from Klamath Falls for more than 30 years.

Stagecoaches and freight wagons plied the route daily until a railroad reached the Klamath Basin in 1908.

The Daughters of the American Colonists placed this historic marker near the north end of the Topsy Road in 1970, but later removed the marker after it was vandalized. The marker was put on display at this location in 2008, with funding from the DAC in memory of longtime member Isabelle Silver Porter (1906-2004).

The following coordinates will place you at the spot where this historical marker once stood:


There is also a 'Beaver Board' historical marker located across the highway from Topsy Grade Road, not far from where this historical marker was located and highlights the Applegate Trail that once passed near this area in the 1840s, when the first pioneer settlers into Southern Oregon were making their way north.

There are a number of historical 'T' Markers located along Topsy Grade Road. They include the Topsy Station site, a former post office, stage and freight stop location; Robber's Rock, a popular spot along Topsy Grade Road where stagecoaches and freight stages were often held up; and the Kerwin Ranch, a wayside stopping point along Topsy Road for travelers (no traces of this former ranch exist, other than an old wooden and barbed wire fence line).

It should be noted that the community of Henley, CA that is mentioned on the marker is part of the larger town of Hornbrook, which is located in Siskiyou County and close to Interstate-5.

Topsy Grade Road is a very bumpy and rocky road in many sections and if anyone wants to travel this very historic road, it would be wise to take a vehicle with high road clearance, such as a 4x4. The views of the Klamath River along this road are truly spectacular and very worth the drive.

Historic Topic: Pioneer

Group Responsible for placement: Other

Marker Type: City

Region: Central Oregon

County: Klamath

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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