Thursday, June 25, 2009

Travel Thursday: Tuttle, California

Fancher Monument
Heading east from Merced on 140, out past the city limits, past the Wilson Substation, in a location you probably have no idea is named Tuttle1, you see it, an improbably imposing2 obelisk in the middle of farmland nowhere. Lots of people wonder; very few, I think, stop to assuage their curiosity.

What it is is the final resting place of local rancher George Hicks Fancher, 1828 - 1900. (Fancher the Rancher, his friends may well have called him.) I couldn't find much of anything about the guy, but I did learn that his oversized tombstone was the subject of a lawsuit. Fancher's will set aside $25,000 for burial and a "monument"; his heirs wanted to spend a measly $2,000 on the gravestone and build a library with the rest. The court ruled, in effect, that monument means monument. So the children of Tuttle went without books (I guess), and Yosemite travelers gained an enigma to entertain them on the long flat stretch of highway.

Tuttle Sunset

1Named for AT&SF executive R. H. Tuttle.
268 feet tall.


Generik said...

Fascinating! I never knew any of that.

ahab said...

Wow! I guess it's good he didn't leave 50 large.

Donna said...

very interesting. sounds like a character for Daniel Day Lewis to play (thinking of that oil man he recently played).

Tom Hilton said...

Generik, I didn't know any of it either until I pulled over on a whim last weekend and shot these.