Our Family, Keeping Your Family Connected Since 1908
Ponderosa was founded by Harmon Bigelow and is one of a small handful of companies in the Central Valley that is still family-owned and operated for over 100 years. From our humble beginnings as a stagecoach transportation company, carrying U.S. mail with just two horses and a small spring wagon, to having the first woman President of the California Telephone Association, our company has a rich and progressive history.
Today, we’re proud to say our Ponderosa family has grown to 80 employees who serve thousands of customers in rural communities throughout our region. And it’s the values we began with that have brought us here and will lead us into the future: our passion for service to our community, our dedication to preserving a beloved rural American lifestyle for generations to come and our mission to keep people connected to the ones they love.
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The Mono Nation Trade Route Hike
You can hear rarely-shared insights and stories of the Mono Nation trade route adventures in the audio interview with Lou Beihn, of the Mono People conducted by Cheryl Frank of Ponderosa Telephone. Audio clips are available below.
The Mono Nation Trade Route
The Mono People have asked themselves: How will our children learn to cherish their heritage and carry forth the ways of our ancestors?
Over twenty years ago, the Mono People formed the Mono Nation. The challenge was to inspire their youth to embrace the Mono tribal culture and understand the significant role of the acorn to the daily diet of their ancestors. To demonstrate the importance of the land and trading culture of their people, volunteers Pat and Lou Beihn of North Fork have led summer hikes across the spectacular Mono and Paiute high elevation passes for the past nine years. These two people have been instrumental in enriching the cultural lives of a multitude of Mono children, adults and elders with real trade route experience and the spiritual memories of their ancestors.
Along this five day route, the Mono hikers choose to fish, search out edible plants, weave baskets, participate in a spiritual ceremony, grind acorns, share ancestral stories and songs and enjoy each others’ company in the same manner as those who traveled this route before them. Lou explains that “many kids, even adults, are very shy at first, but we are patient and we allow them to participate in their own way, in their own time. We often share remarkable wilderness adventures, and through those, we form very close bonds for life. It is wonderful!”
Communications for Life
The Mono People understand the value of communication to share their cultural heritage. At Ponderosa we also place a strong value on communication and we are honored to deliver the Voice and Internet communication technologies that enhance the lifestyles of the customers we serve.