Hiram Hughes was fed up with the Silver Rush. Leaving the mines of Nevada’s Comstock Lode, he returned to Calaveras County in 1860 and began prospecting for gold along Gopher Ridge. Noticing a resemblance in the rock formations here to those of the Washoe region in Nevada, he staked a claim on Quail Hill that May. Hiram worked the claim, turning up small amounts of gold and silver, and a lot of reddish colored ore referred to by the local miners as “iron rust.”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.
On August 3rd of 1877, a stage was making its way over the low hills between Point Arenas and Duncan’s Mills on the Russian River when a lone figure suddenly appeared in the middle of the road. Wearing a long linen duster and masked with a flour scan, the bandit pointed a double-barreled shotgun at the driver and said, in a deep and resonant voice, “Throw down the box!”Read More