John Sutter was born on February 15th of 1803 in Kandern, Baden, a few miles from the Swiss border. Apprenticed to a firm of printers and booksellers, Sutter soon found the paper business was not for him. While clerking in a draper’s shop, he met his future wife, Annette Dubeld, and the two were married in Burgdorf on October 24th of 1826. A series of business failures resulted in Sutter’s decision to seek his fortune in America. At the age of thirty-one, he left his wife and four children, a step ahead of his creditors.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.
Within a week in 1848, Dayton and McCoon had extracted $10,000 in Gold from this area and started the feverish rush of miners into "Dry Diggins," the first name given to this community. The name "Hangtown," which still persists as a nickname, was no doubt aqcuired because of the many hangings which took place there in 1849.Read More
The creek, the hill, and the camp were all named for the same man, Sgt. James H. Carson, a member of Colonel Stevenson’s Regiment of First New York Volunteers. Organized to fight in the Mexican War, the regiment arrived in California in 1847, but saw little action and were mustered out of service at the end of the war. As no provisions had been made for their return to the States, the soldiers found themselves stranded in California. Carson happened to be in Monterey when news of Marshall’s discovery reached that town in the spring of 1848. After packing his belongings and buying a few supplies, he set out for the gold fields.Read More