Big Bar

At one time the most important camp on the Mokelumne River, Big Bar quickly disappeared when the gold played out and the miners left for the richer diggings of Mokelumne Hill. The spot was first mined during 1848, at which time it was almost impossible to cross the wild Mokelumne River. To remedy this situation, a whaleboat ferry was established in 1849, which operated until 1852 when it was swept away in a flood. A toll bridge was built to replace the ferry and it did a booming business until it was swept away by the flood of 1862. Following that disaster, a somewhat higher bridge was built which served the area for many years after.

Big Bar is located on Hwy 49, but all that remains of its Gold Rush heritage is the river that runs past this old mining site. There are building ruins on each side of the river, at the north end of the present bridge, but as to when they were built, who occupied them and their purpose? That I have yet to discover.

This Old Building is on the west side of the bridge. It looks like it was once a pretty nice house, with a great view of the river. There's also another large frame building nearby, maybe a garage or storeroom.

This Stone Ruin is located on the east side of the bridge. It may date back to the 1860s. A little farther east is the burnt-out remains of a woodframe house.

There are some other remains of burned out structures nearby. I've driven by these two spots many times over the last twenty-five years or so, and finally got around to stopping this past December to poke around to see what I could find.