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
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 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