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Residents: Restore ‘Jacob’s Ladder’

Eileen JoyceWally Krill stands at the entrance to the so-called Jacob's Ladder trail in Nevada City Wednesday. Krill wants to city to fix up the old trail, which runs from Prospect Street to Sacramento Street.
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A former stairway built during the God Rush years, now a popular dirt trail from Prospect Hill to downtown Nevada City, is unsafe and should be restored, nearby residents say.

The 230-foot trail starts on Prospect Street and ends on Sacramento Street, 74 feet below.



The trail is overgrown and a hazard to pedestrians, nearby resident Wally Krill told the Nevada City Council two weeks ago.




The council said it would discuss the matter at a later date, but that date was unspecified.

Krill said this week he hopes city officials will revive a 1995 plan to renovate the old stairway, known as Jacob’s Ladder to some and as Miner’s Trail or Prospect Trail to others. “We’re concerned somebody is going to be seriously hurt,” he said.

The plans, drawn by Nevada City architect Greg Wolters in 1995, show a staircase, handrails and six rest stops.

The city received two bids to restore the stairway that year – one was for $42,752 and the other for $47,762, but the project was never funded.

The city needed money for the reconstruction of the South Pine Street bridge and other projects, city officials say.

“It wasn’t so much the cost,” Bill Falconi, the city engineer, said this week. “It was the priority.”

The trail goes by the Red Castle, a bed-and-breakfast. Its owner, Conley Weaver, supports the restoration project.

“I was the one who made the original proposal to restore the stairway,” Weaver said Thursday. “The path that is there now is very dangerous.”

The stairway’s original name is Jacob’s Ladder, Weaver said. The name refers to Jacob, the biblical figure who dreamed of a ladder to heaven.

Weaver, an architect, was elected to the Nevada City City Council Tuesday.

John Williams, a prominent businessman, built the Red Castle in 1860. A temperance hall Williams built stood below the the Red Castle, Weaver said.


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