First long-distance telephone line

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World's First
Long-Distance Telephone Line
Location Pleasant Valley Road
French Corral, California
Built 1877
Architect Ridge Telephone Company
Reference no. 247

The world's first long-distance telephone line, established in 1877, connected French Corral with Bowman Lake (previously known as French Lake)[1] at the headwaters of the Yuba River.[2] It was strung across trees and poles for a distance of 60 mi (97 km) in Nevada County, California, passing through Birchville, Sweetland, North San Juan, Cherokee, North Columbia, Lake City, North Bloomfield, Moores Flat, Graniteville, and Milton.[3]

The line was operated by the Ridge Telephone Company for the service of Milton Mining and Water Company, as well as other water companies. The line was an improvement over the system used in nearby Downieville, California.[4]

Historical landmark[edit]

The site is now a California Historical Landmark. The marker is inscribed:


The first long-distance telephone in the world, built in 1877 by the Ridge Telephone Company, connected French Corral with French Lake, 58 miles away. It was operated by the Milton Mining Company from a building on this site that had been erected about 1853.[5]


  1. ^ Kelly, Leslie A. (1997). Traveling California's gold rush country. Helena, Montana: Falcon. p. 149. ISBN 1-56044-484-3. 
  2. ^ Muller, Ted. "Bowman Lake, headwaters of the Yuba River". Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  3. ^ Hoover, Mildred Brooke; Douglas E. Kyle; Hero Rensch (2002). Historic spots in California. Stanford University Press. p. 260. ISBN 0-8047-4482-3. 
  4. ^ Rubin, Saul (2004). Northern California curiosities : quirky characters, roadside oddities & other offbeat stuff. Guilford, Connecticut: Globe Pequot Press. p. 198. ISBN 0-7627-2899-X. 
  5. ^ "WORLD'S FIRST LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE LINE". Retrieved 2008-08-03. 

See also[edit]