McKiernan, Charles

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Charles "Mountain Charley" McKiernan established his homestead in the early 1850s at the Santa Cruz Mountains pass later named “Patchen”, which was right at the summit of the “howling wilderness” so feared by early flatlanders (today's Highway 17 summit). He had to constantly defend his livestock from the numerous mountain predators, and became something of a local legend after surviving a mauling by a bear, always wearing a hat pulled low over his eyes to hide the scars on his head. Mountain Charley later used some of his toll road income to invest in a stagecoach company that, of course, used his toll road. That former toll road is today's Mt. Charlie [sic] Road, running roughly parallel to Hwy. 17.