Mark Twain marker

Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail Marker

 

Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail Markers


"There sure are a lot of markers!" said a friend as we traveled along the Gold County Highway


California (Tuolumne County), Chinese Camp — 423 — Chinese Camp — Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail
Reportedly founded about 1849 by group of Englishmen who employed Chinese as miners. Much surface gold found on hills and flats. Headquarters for stage lines in early 1850’s, and for several California Chinese mining companies. First Chinese tong war in state fought near here between Sam Yap and Yan Woo tongs. Present stone and brick post office built 1854, still standing. St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church build 1855, restored 1949. First pastor, Father Henry Aleric. Historical Landmark.


California (Tuolumne County), Chinese Camp — 419 — Jacksonville
Near this site, now inundated by the waters of Don Pedro Reservoir, stood the historic town of Jacksonville. It was settled by Julian Smart who planted the first garden and orchard in the spring of 1849. Named for Colonel A. M. Jackson. In 1850 it was the principal river town in the area. It was the gathering center for thousands of miners working the rich bed of the Tuolumne River.


California (Tuolumne County), Columbia — 138 — Mark Twain Cabin — Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail
Stopping place of packers carrying supplies to miners. Often 200 jackasses on hill over night furnishing concert suggesting name “Jackass Hill”. Very coarse gold found here. $10,000 taken from 100 square feed of ground. Quartz found containing 3/4 of total weight in gold. Mark Twain, Steve, Jim and Bill Gilis and Dick Stoker, the “Dick Baker” in “Roughing it”, were cronies. Mark wrote here “Jumping Frog of Calaveras” from notes made at Angels Camp Tavern. 


California (Tuolumne County), Columbia — 138 — Mark Twain Cabin 1 Mile
Replica, with original chimney and fireplace. Here on Jackass Hill, young Mark Twain, while guest of Gillis Brothers, 1864-65, gathered material for "Jumping Frog of Calaveras", which first brought him fame, and for "Roughing It".


California (Tuolumne County), Columbia — 438 — Parrott’s Ferry — Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail
Site of ferry crossing established 1860 by Thomas H. Parrott connecting mining towns of Tuttletown and Vallecito. Ferry in operation until 1903 when first bridge built. Ferry boat of flat bottom wooden construction propelled on heavy cables. Cable anchorage in large boulder Calaveras side of river still visible (1949) at low water, sandbag dam built to form small lake.


California (Tuolumne County), Columbia — 424 — Sawmill Flat — Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail
Name derived from two sawmills erected here to supply mining timbers early 1850’s. Population at one time 1000. Rich in pocket gold in heyday. Mining camp of Mexican woman, Doña Elisa Martinez, at north end of flat, reported to have been hideout of famous bandit, Joaquin Murieta. Site of story, “The Battle of Sawmill Flat.” — Map (db m6809)
California (Tuolumne County), Columbia — 432 — Springfield — Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail
Springfield received name from abundant springs gushing from limestone boulders. Town with its stores, shops and hotel, built around plaza. Once boasted 2,000 inhabitants. Believed founded by Donna Josefa Valmesada, Mexican woman of means with reputation for aiding Americans in War with Mexico. During heyday, 150 miners carts could be seen on road, hauling gold-bearing dirt to Springfield springs for washing.


California (Tuolumne County), Columbia — 124 — Tuttletown — Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail
Early day stopping place for men and mounts. Named for Judge Anson A. H. Tuttle who built first log cabin here in 1848. Stones used in this base from old Swerer Store built in 1854, remains of which still exist, 1949. Mark Twain traded here. Tuttletown Hotel, built in 1852 and still standing in 1949, was last operated by John Edwards.


California (Tuolumne County), Jamestown — Woods Crossing — Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail
Tuolumne County history begins here. Early in 1848 a party of Philadelphia prospectors under the leadership of James Woods discovered gold 500 feet south east of this marker, where the old road crosses the creek now bearing Woods’ name. James Savage, J.H. Rider, and Searles Bassett, the lawyer prominent in the early history of Columbia, were members of the party. This marker is located directly on the famous Mother Lode, the greatest gold-bearing vein in the world.


California (Tuolumne County), Sonora — 395 — Shaw’s Flat — Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail
In 1850 this community was alive with gold miners. James D. Fair, after whom the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco is named, was one of the most notable. The Mississippi House, built in 1850, contains many relics including the original bar and postoffice with its grill and mail boxes. On a nearby hill stands the old bell given by miners which summoned men to work and announced the governing of various courts. According to tradition, a local bartender added to his income by panning gold dust dropped on his muddy boots while serving customers.


California (Tuolumne County), Soulsbyville — 420 — Soulsbyville — Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail
The first community in Tuolumne County to be founded (1855) entirely upon the operation of a lode mine. Site of the famous Soulsby Mine (discovered by Benjamine Soulsby) which produced over $6,500,00 by 1900. The first hardrock miners who worked mine were from Cornwall, England. First group of 499 arriving in 1858. — Map (db m6951)
California (Tuolumne County), Sugarpine — 422 — Sonora Pass – Mono Road — Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail
Toll gate, fine hotel and stables near this spot 1850's. Jedediah Smith reputed to have been first white man to cross over or near Sonora Pass, 1827. Portion of road built by Tuolumne County Water Co., 1852. Surveyed to Bridgeport, Mono County, 1860. Completed 1864 when six horse team took three weeks for round trip, Sonora to Bridgeport. — Map (db m6884)
California (Tuolumne County), Tuolumne — 445 — Cherokee — Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail
First placer camp in East Belt section of Mother Lode. Gold discovered here in 1853 by Scott brothers, descendants of Cherokee Indians. Scars of placer “diggings” in every little arroyo in Cherokee Valley healed over by Mother Nature later replaced by quartz mines. Present day productive farms in this area were once rich placer grounds. — Map (db m6819)
California (Tuolumne County), Tuolumne — 407 — Tuolumne (formerly called Summersville) — Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail


Geographical center of East Belt Placer Gold Rush, 1856-57. First white settlers, the Franklin Summers family, arrived in 1854 and built log cabin half mile west. James Blakely, in 1858, discovered first quartz lode, half mile east, naming it "Eureka", which mine became nucleus of town of "Summersville", later called "Carters'" and finally, "Tuolumne". Other mining towns lively in gold rush days were Long Gulch, two miles south, and Cherokee, two miles north.

 


 


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