John Humphrey.

That’s an important name in Fresno County history, especially in the foothill and mountain areas.

He was born in Athens, Alabama in 1830.

He moved to California, Tuolumne County in fact, during the gold rush.

He opened a saw mill when he was 30 years old in Mariposa, and 7 years later he moved that sawmill business to Pine Ridge where he built a house for himself and his family.

J.N. and J.H. Woods owned a wood shake business and they had a problem.

The problem was getting their product out of the rough terrain of the Sierra Nevada where there was really no road, steep drop-offs.

They needed to build a road.

They got permission from Fresno County to do just that and they hired John Humphrey to build that road.

And they called the road “Tollhouse Grade”.

Normally this is where I would say, “Tollhouse! On the map of…” you know how it goes.

But we’re a little farther down the road than the town of Tollhouse.

This place was named for the guy who built this road, John Humphrey.

And so Humphreys Station is on the map of Fresno County.

Oh by the way, there’s another story about Humphreys Station and it’s outlined by this very marker.

It claims that this place used to be called Mechanicsville and was named Humphreys Station in honor of Humphrey Station restaurant bar and general store owned by Miles Humphrey, that’s John’s brother.

With Josh Dean behind the camera, I’m A.J. Fox.