Cazadero, the early days, was a tale created by a conflicted family. Silas Ingram and his wife joined a wagon train bound for California in 1840. While crossing the plains of Utah, they were attacked by a band if Indians who killed several in the party as well as absconding with the mules. Ingram was forced to walk over 100 miles to Salt Lake City where he caught transportation to San Francisco.
He later acquired federal timber land and moved his family to Sebastopol to be near his new enterprise along Austin Creek. He soon established a hunting resort in the rural area in 1869, naming it Ingrams. Silas became the first post master of the town. However, the mail was often not delivered on time or delivered at all. That was because it was pilfered on a regular basis. In an awkward twist of history, the culprit turned out to be none other than Silas’s own son, Charles, who later confessed to the crime and served eighteen months in jail. Tsk, tsk.
Ingram and the Railroad:
The Feds refused to recognize the town as Ingrams, labeling the post office as “Austin”. After considerable negotiating and political persuasion, Silas was able to convince the North Pacific Coast Railroad to extend its line from Duncans Mills in 1886. This was the final argument needed, and the U.S. Post Office changed the name of the location permanently to honor Silas’s surname. Silas Ingram kept his property in the hills, which is currently known as Lions Head Ranch. He died on June 8, 1900 and is buried at the Redwood Cemetery in Guerneville. But when and how did Ingrams become Cazadero? Stay tuned.