The rich placers of San Antonio Creek were first located in 1848. Shortly afterwards, David Foreman settled in the area and established a combination trading post, saloon and hotel for which the site was early known as Foremans Ranch. The place soon came to be called Fourth Crossing; however, as it was located at the fourth river crossing on the road between Stockton and Angels Camp. The four crossings were at the Calaveras River, the north fork of the Calaveras, Calaveritas Creek, and San Antonio Creek.
Alexander Beritzhoff joined Foreman and the two established a ferry service for those wishing to cross the river. They later built a toll bridge that operated as such until January of 1888, at which time its current owner, William Reddick, sold it for $1,200 to the Calaveras County, which then made it a free bridge. Reddick had arrived in California in 1849 and settled down in Fourth Crossing after a brief try at mining in Angels Camp. He bought the bridge in 1858 for $5,000 in partnership with his son-in-law, John Hill. Reddick later acquired full ownership on March 21 of 1860, by buying out Hill for $1,000.
Fourth Crossing was one of the early mining camps of Calaveras County and was known during the 1850’s for its rich placers. Lode mining also proved very productive in this area after the placers gave out. The first Justice Court in Calaveras County was located here with Judge Bachman serving as the Justice of the Peace. Fourth Crossing also had an early school and a post office was established here on June 2 of 1855.
When the gold finally gave out, the camp remained an important stage and freighting stop and continued to serve the Southern Mines as such until the turn of the century. After that time, the town slowly dwindled away, the land returning to its former appearance with grasses and trees hiding the scars left by the early day gold seekers.
Fourth Crossing is located just west of Hwy 49 between Altaville and San Andreas.
A Stone Monument at the side of Hwy 49 relates a brief history of Fourth Crossing and its early citizens. Hwy 49 crosses San Antonio Creek a little ways above the original toll bridge, which still remains off to the west of the road.