Also known as Cherokee Flat, Forks in the Road, and Winterton, Altaville was established on Cherokee Creek, northwest of Angels Camp in 1852. According to legend, the area was a favorite haunt of Joaquin Murieta, the bandit, who supposedly spent so much time here that a mountain northwest of the creek was named Joaquin Mountain. While rich pockets of gold, the "richest of the state," were discovered here in 1854, the gold only lasted a short time. The town was also an important point for supplies and machinery; however, which enabled it to survive even after the gold was gone. The camp eventually became a part of Angels Camp as that town continued to grow and expand into the outlying areas.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.
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
Jackass Hill received its name from the numerous jackasses whose pack trains stopped here overnight on their way to and from various points in the mines. As many as two hundred of the beasts are said to have been picketed here at the same time, making their presence known by their incessant braying, which could be heard for miles in all directions.Read More