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.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.