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
A fanciful tale is told regarding the naming of Fiddletown. As the story goes, the camp was first settled by a group of prospectors from Missouri in 1849. When it came time to name the place, one of the elder Missourians complained of the younger men: “They are always fiddlin,’ call it Fiddletown.” Another story gives credit to German fiddle players, while Edwin A. Sherman relates in his reminiscences of an old lady who claimed her family were the first settlers at “Violin City,” so-called because her husband, daughter, and two sons all played the violin. It’s probably safe to say that some early settler in Fiddletown was partial to playing the fiddle.Read More
Mining for gold began here in the spring of 1848 when Mexican, Indian, and American miners searched for gold in the rich gravels along Dry Creek. The town which grew up around the creek was called Drytown and it is the oldest town in Amador County. Although the creek may have run dry during the summer months, legend has it the town never did, as an old story claims some twenty-six saloons wet the miners’ whiskers during the early 1850’s.Read More