History

1854

The Twenty Mile House built in 1854 was originally a trading post for local gold miners and a stopping place for teamsters on the Reno-Quincy run. It gained the name Twenty Mile House, as its placement was 20 miles west of Beckworth and 20 miles east of Quincy. A stagecoach could travel 20 miles and the Twenty Mile House “soon went from just a stagecoach stop between settlements, to the center of Cromberg,

Stagecoach stop providing accommodation on the Reno to Quincy route

with a trading post, a hotel and even a school house” (Keenan, 1992). The stages that traveled this route changed their horses at the Twenty Mile House. The Twenty Mile House was originally built on a hillside but was moved after just a few years to the bottom of the hill on large log rollers.

1880’s

In the 1880’s the teamsters drove 8-10 horses on their stagecoaches and needed bells to warn on-coming travelers. The stage drivers were the most popular men of their day – jolly and talkative. Miners lived along the river and would trade gold nuggets for grub or tobacco. Reno was the nearest or most west train stop therefore stage coaches hauled travelers from Reno which took 3 days to reach the Twenty Mile House.

1908 suspension bridge across the Feather River at the Twenty Mile House

In 1880 brothers William and Gerhard Langhorst purchased the Twenty Mile House from a man named Crawford. They expanded it into a General Merchandising Store. The original store had a handmade

Langhorst brothers at Twenty Mile House Cromberg

counter, wood stove, cowhide bottom chairs and a small table for newspapers. A few years later Gerhard bought his brother’s interest and became sole owner of the Twenty Mile House.

The building consisted of downstairs the store adjoined by a bedroom (that later became the post office) and the kitchen. There were 3 rooms upstairs where three bedrooms.

In 1881 G.A. Langh0rst applied for a Post Office but needed a one-word name so chose Krumberg, his grandparents name in N.W. Germany. The spelling was Americanized spelling to Cromberg. Krum means crooked and Berg means hill. He was postmaster of Cromberg for 35 years until his death in 1919.

In 1885 the cemetery was founded and Annie May Langhorst, oldest daughter of the Langhorst’s was first buried there at 3 years of age.

Langhorst woman 1912 Twenty Mile House

In 1887 a two story hotel section of 10 rooms was built by Bill Crowe of Quincy adjoining the store section. No one was ever turned away for lodging.  Lower bedroom was the parlor. Meals were served all day in the hotel a favorite dish being roast bear. An upstairs bedroom was turned into a schoolroom for Minnie (Wilhelmina) and Kathryn Langhorst.

1900’s

The first train of the Western Pacific Railroad came by the Twenty Mile House in 1909. In 1910 a large lumber camp sprang up and logs were loaded on the train to Loyalton. In 1912 three men put guns to G. Langhorst’s head and stole $200 robbed the post office.

1920’s

In 1924 the property was sold to John Hussey and the General Store was built in 1925.

Potato Patch 1914 Twenty Mile House near Quincy California

Later Years

In 1945 the Twenty Mile House was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Matthew E. Magill and would travel with their family to Cromberg by train from Pasadena. Henry the son of the Magills eventually moved permanently to the Twenty Mile House and resided there until he died in 1985. In the 1940’s Robert Gage began visiting the Twenty Mile House with his family who had a small cabin on an adjacent piece of land. In 1976 Rob and Barbara Gage bought the Twenty Mile House and its approximately 200 acres, but did not occupy it until 1985 after Henry died – he had a life estate.  After Henry’s death many of his treasures were

Kevin, Karen and Katelyn current owners

uncovered some of which are now in the Smithsonian Museum and the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. The Gage family continued to travel to Cromberg from Laguna Beach to spend their summers at the Twenty Mile House. In 1991 Barbara Gage moved permanently to the Twenty Mile House and turned it into Bed & Breakfast, which still operates today where people come to fish, get married, and just relax, and getaway from their busy lives. In 2009 Kevin Gage and Karen Steele with their 2 year old daughter Katelyn, moved to the Twenty Mile House and took over the business of running the Bed and Breakfast and specializing in hosting Ecologically Minded Green Weddings.