Cholame, California

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Cholame, California
Unincorporated community
Cholame, California
Cholame, California
Cholame, California is located in California
Cholame, California
Cholame, California
Location within the state of California
Coordinates: 35°43′26″N 120°17′44″W / 35.72389°N 120.29556°W / 35.72389; -120.29556Coordinates: 35°43′26″N 120°17′44″W / 35.72389°N 120.29556°W / 35.72389; -120.29556
Country United States
State California
County San Luis Obispo
Elevation 1,157 ft (353 m)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 93461
Area code(s) 805
GNIS feature ID 252871[1]

Cholame /ʃəˈlæm/ is an unincorporated community in San Luis Obispo County, California, USA. It sits within a mile of the San Andreas Rift Zone fault line at an elevation of 1,157 feet (353 m) above sea level and is located at 35°43′26″N 120°17′44″W / 35.72389°N 120.29556°W / 35.72389; -120.29556. Cholame is reached via State Route 41, just southwest of the junction of Route 46. Rainfall data from a nearby ranch shows that the area around Cholame only receives about eight to nine inches (200–230 mm) of rain in a normal year.

History[edit]

Cholame was originally a rancheria of the Salinian Indians,[2] but it was re-formed as the 73,000-acre Rancho Cholame by Robert Edgar Jack and his father-in-law, W.W. Hollister.[3]

Jack studied at Maine Wesleyan Seminary, and he later was an accountant at a shipping house in New York City. In the Civil War he enlisted in the 56th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and he served in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, during the Battle of Gettsyburg and then in New York to quell "anti-Negro riots" there. Near the end of the war he removed to California and became Hollister's accountant and secretary on the latter's San Justo Ranch surrounding the present city of Hollister. When that property was subdivided, the two bought the Cholame land. Jack married Hollister's daughter, Lucy Ellen (Nellie) in 1870 and became the largest wool grower in Central California, later switching to cattle and agriculture. Jack organized the County Bank of San Luis Obispo.[3]

The land was sold to the Hearst Corporation in 1966 and is still a working cattle ranch.[2]

James Dean[edit]

On September 30, 1955, actor James Dean was killed in a traffic collision when college student Donald Turnupseed made a left turn without seeing Dean's Porsche 550 Spyder approaching at the junction of State Highways 41 and 46. On the same date in 2005, the State of California observed the 50th anniversary of Dean's death by naming the intersection as the James Dean Memorial Junction. A few hundred people, including state officials, a Dean family member, several Dean archivists and fans gathered at the junction and in Cholame to pay tribute to the actor. Near a local restaurant a memorial to Dean was erected in 1977 by a retired Japanese businessman from Kobe, Seita Ohnishi. The monument is made of stainless steel and surrounds a tree of heaven, a Chinese sumac.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cholame". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  2. ^ a b David W. Kean, Wide Places in the California Roads: The encyclopedia of California's small towns and the roads that lead to them (Volume 1 of 4: Southern California Counties), pp. 44-45.
  3. ^ a b Dan Krieger, "Ranch Near Where James Dean Died in Crash Has a Long History," San Luis Obispo Tribune, May 17, 2015, page B3]