Gorman Post Road

Travelers driving through the Grapevine know Gorman as a little gas/food/lodging oasis. In fact it’s been a rest stop for well over 150 years – long before the automobile era. It’s hard to pin down facts about its namesake, but I can tell you that James Gorman (c. 1834-1873) was an Irish immigrant who lived here on his ranch while operating a small inn and general store out of his house. Historians believe he came to these mountains in 1854, helped build nearby Fort Tejon, supplied food for the soldiers stationed there, and bought this land in the mid-1860s. All I know for sure is that he, his wife Johanna (also an Irish immigrant, 1835-1889), and their three sons were here by 1869. (A daughter was born in 1871 but died at the age of six.) “Gorman’s Station” was first cited in the press in February 1873; three months later, James Gorman suffered an awful death on the ride home from Los Angeles: he lost control of his horses in the Cahuenga Pass, fell out of his wagon, and was crushed by its wheels. Johanna and the boys remained to run the ranch and way station. Their land was sold to Oscar Ralphs – brother of the Ralphs supermarket founder – around 1898.