Ponderosa Timeline


Tesoro Viejo 100% Fiber to the home network installed in Madera County.


Our 100th year launched with the opening of the beautiful new Customer Care Center next to the historic Bigelow homestead.


The Ponderosa Internet Company was founded.


The first fiber optic route was installed from O’Neals to Mercer tower.


Luanne Silkwood became the first woman President of Ponderosa. Two years later, she also became the first woman President of the California Telephone Association.


Ponderosa introduced the first touch tone and custom calling features.


Frank Bigelow stepped up to leadership as President following the death of his father, Jesse.


Ponderosa grew to 3,000 subscribers and the first digital switch was installed in Auberry, which built the foundation for touch-tone calling.


Ponderosa changed the social culture of the grapevine forever, launching the mechanical XY automated switch and automated toll ticketing for long distance, allowing calls to be connected without live operators.


We incorporated under a new name, The Ponderosa Telephone Co., and delivered the first dial tone services to North Fork, Friant, and Auberry.


The telephone company expanded to include the communities of Auberry, Big Creek, Friant, North Fork, O’Neals and Shaver Lake.


At the homestead ranch house, 24-hour switch-board operators were on staff, serving telephone subscribers, which grew from 86 to 256 between 1944 and 1945.


Jesse Bigelow stepped in as President following the death of his father, Harmon.


The State Railroad Commission gave the Bigelows a franchised territory of 650 square miles serving two counties and assigned tariff rates, making them officially the “Bigelow Telephone Company.”


Bigelow Stageline had five stagelines operating out of O’Neals and began a telephone network serving the surrounding communities after Mrs. Bigelow ordered two phones to speak with her mother, who lived a mile away.


Harmon secured a contract to transport U.S. mail with just two horses and a small spring wagon. As the need for transportation services grew in the foothills and mountains, a stageline began.


Harmon Bigelow moved to Guerneville, CA to work as a lumber scaler for the Peckinpah Family sawmill above North Fork.