Gold Towns: Jamestown

Gold was discovered on Woods’ Creek in August 1848. Jamestown was founded by Colonel George F. James, a San Francisco lawyer, who located at this point on the creek some four miles southwest of Sonora. Jamestown fell on hard times after the Gold Rush, but experienced a dramatic resurgence in the 1880s Continue reading Gold Towns: Jamestown

Gold Towns: Jackson

It was once casually known as “Bottileas” (with several spellings), apparently because of the empty-bottle debris scattered about by early gold miners in transit to Mokelumne Hill and other known gold-strike sites. Nevertheless it was a convenient stopping place, and a campsite founded there in 1849 was named for Alden M. Continue reading Gold Towns: Jackson

Solar Eclipse

Residents of Northern California will not be able to see the partial solar eclipse that begins later today . . . but there was much excitement in 1854, when a full solar eclipse on May 26 gave San Franciscans an opportunity that would not occur again for many years: the chance to determine the difference of longitude between San Francisco and the principal Atlantic observatories.

Gold Towns: Georgetown

Residents of Georgetown, the northeastern-most town in the California Mother Lode, call it “The Pride of the Mountains.” It is named for George Phipps, who founded a mining camp there on August 7, 1849. Phipps and his fellow sailor companions initially named it “Growlersburg,” due to the heavy, gold-laden Continue reading Gold Towns: Georgetown

Gold Towns: Foster’s Bar

Foster’s Bar was a mining camp founded by William McFadden Foster, a Donner Party survivor who also participated in the rescue efforts. He was the husband of Sarah Ann Murphy Foster, son-in-law of Levinah Jackson Murphy (who perished); brother-in-law of Mary Murphy Johnson Covillaud, and brother-in-law of Michael Continue reading Gold Towns: Foster’s Bar