Gold Towns: Angels Camp

Angels Camp is named for its founder Henry Pinkney Angell (with two l’s), a native Rhode Islander who found gold in 1849 at the confluence of two creeks. Henry invested his new wealth by opening a tent store on his discovery site, becoming one of the first merchants in the newly established gold camp. The Lake Hotel, destroyed by fire in 1855, was replaced with the Angels Hotel, where young journalist Samuel Clemens stayed in 1865 and allegedly based his story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” on a yarn told to him by the hotel’s bartender, Ben Coon.  The event is commemorated with a Jumping Frog Jubilee each May at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds. Angels Camp—the only incorporated city in Calaveras County—retains several iron-shuttered stone buildings from the Gold Rush days. Noteworthy landmarks are Angels Hotel, the Stickles Store, and the famous Utica Mine, which produced millions during 1893-1916. Angels Camp is registered as California Historical Landmark #287.

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