After the hardships and trials of crossing the Sierra Nevada, the weary emigrants following the Carson Trail no doubt welcomed a day or two of rest at the group of springs located here, sweet springs which provided cool, beautifully clear water. And once the travelers had rested and the stock had been watered, they would move on. No one could afford to stay for any length of time, they were bound for Coloma or the Southern Mines; the gold was waiting.Read More
California State Highway 49: The Golden Chain
California State Highway 49, the “Mother Lode Highway,” can truly take you back to the days of ’49. The road connects gold rush mining camps, ghost towns and historic sites from Oakhurst in the south, to Sierra City in the north. It’s three hundred miles of beautiful country along the foothills of the Sierra Mountains. Twisting mountain roads, sheer granite walls, precipitous drops to swiftly moving rivers. Old buildings, gold mines, forgotten cemeteries. Let’s go see what we can find.
A cluster of cool, clear springs surrounded by oaks and sugar pines made this spot a natural stopping point for emigrants traveling along the Carson Emigrant Trail. One such traveler was David B. Scott, who left Monroe, Michigan in 1849 to cross the plains and come to California. He was so impressed with this area that when his party disbanded in Sutterville, he returned here with a group of men in 1850 and erected a shingle machine near the springs, from whence the town took its name.Read More
This old mining town, located on the banks of the Calaveras River, started out as a rich camp back in the early 1850’s. The river received its name from Gabriel Moraga who visited the region in 1806. Believed to be the first white man to enter what is now Calaveras County, he found many skulls along the banks of the river below San Andreas, prompting him to call it Calaveras, meaning “skulls” in Spanish. The river was rich and was widely worked during the Gold Rush. Placering, hydraulic mining, and dredging all took place in this area.Read More