The creek, the town, and the county all take their name from the same man, Jose Maria Amador, Indian fighter, rancher, miner. On August 17 of 1835, Amador was granted an immense 16,517 acre tract of land known as the Rancho San Ramon, where he settled down and built one of the few two-story adobes in California. Amador began producing leather, soap, saddles, blankets, shoes, and wagons using Indians from mission San Jose, and was soon one of the wealthiest rancheros in the province.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.
Who the first men were to mine this region is not known for certain, but legend has it that among the earliest were members of Stevenson’s Regiment who chanced upon the diggings in 1848. They found the placers exceedingly rich, averaging $100 a day per man, with some spots yielding up to $500. The claims in Soldiers Gulch were paying so well that no one took the time off from mining to build any kind of permanent shelter. So when the first snows began to fly, most of the men packed up their gear and headed for friendlier climes.Read More