Henry and George Angel arrived in California as soldiers, serving under Colonel Frémont during the Mexican War. After the war’s end, the brothers found themselves in Monterey where they heard of the fabulous finds in the gold fields. The tales proved too strong a lure, so they joined the Carson-Robinson party of prospectors and set out for the mines. The company parted ways upon reaching what later became known as Angels Creek, with the Murphy group heading east and the Carson party continuing south. It was September of 1848.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.
Tired and discouraged, the Hildreth party decided to call it quits after a dismal month of prospecting in Calaveras County. The trail back to Woods Crossing led to Pine Log, where they crossed the Stanislaus River over a fallen tree, the only “bridge” for miles in either direction. Passing near a large Indian rancheria, the trail then snaked down a gulch to the foot of a small hill where they camped for the night, spreading their blankets beneath a large oak tree. It rained during the night, obliging the men to remain the next morning in order to dry out their clothes and blankets.Read More
Named for the fine springs which gush forth from between two limestone boulders as the source of Mormon Creek, Springfield was reportedly the only mining camp in the Mother Lode where a church was built before the gambling houses. Yet even with this auspicious beginning, the town was destined to disappear, leaving only the wild grass and the plentiful, oddly misshapen limestone boulders as its mining legacy.Read More
A man by the name of Mandeville Shaw planted an orchard here on the eastern slope of Table Mountain in November of 1849. Gold was discovered in the area at about the same time and by early 1850 a sizable camp had been established, which was christened Shaws Flat in honor of the popular merchant and fruit grower.Read More