In 1848, the town of San Andreas, California was named after the Catholic Saint Andreas and settled by Mexicans. Gold had been discovered, but the mining venture of surface gold was only for a short period of time.
In 1866, San Andreas became the county seat of Calaveras County. The town is still the seat of the county in present day.
The Museum of the San Ramon Valley was established in the Southern Pacific Depot in Danville, California.
The museum hosts a history of Danville as well as that of the railroads that used to run through the town.
Author Eugene O’Neill, lived in the “Tao House”, from 1937 to 1944, in Danville, California.
The house was a Chinese themed house with various masks. At the time, Eugene lived in the Chinese themed home with his fourth wife. The Tao House was purchased by the U.S. National Park Service, after the California Historical Landmarks Commission recommended the home to be nominated for the National Register of Historic Places in September 1970.
Author Philip Andrew Hamilton visited the Tao House during the Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year, on January 25, 2020.
In 1859, Danville, California began form as a town after brothers Daniel and Andrew Inman used their earnings, from the Gold Rush, to buy 10,000 acres of land in the area.
In 1932, the Downeville Historical Museum was established within a building constructed in 1852.
The Sierra County Sheriff’s Gallows was only utilized for one hanging.
A historic train maintenance yard within Jamestown, California was established as the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.
In 1848, the first gold discovery in Tuolumne County was made at Woods Crossing. The town of Jamestown, California was soon founded near Woods Crossing.
The museum has exit ties exhibits on the towns history with the Gold Rush, in addition to the history of the jail.
The Tuolumne County Museum and History Center has former jail cells with exhibits in each one. One of those exhibits shows the movies that had been filmed in the county such as “Wells Fargo”.
In 1857, William Sugg, a former slave, built the Sugg House in Sonora, California.
On May 1, 1851, Sonora, California was incorporated as a town within Tuolumne County.
In 1854, Tuolumne City, California was founded by Gold Rush pioneers. Tuolumne is a Native American word for “Follow Me”.
The William Cavalier Museum is located in downtown Columbia, California, the site of the largest preserved gold rush era town by the California State Park system.
The museum hosts an exhibit about the oldest two story schoolhouse in the state of California which was built in March 1861, a mere month before Confederates fired their cannons on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
The historical organization the, “Native Sons of the Golden West” have a hall in the former Gold Rush era town of Columbia, California.
The Native Sons of the Golden West Hall has one of the hundreds of mission bell replicas that was placed on the El Camino Real in California.
The road El Camino Real used to go from Sonora, California to Guatemala.
On March 27, 1850, the Hildreth Party discovered gold in an area which would become Columbia, California. Shortly after the town became one of the largest towns in California and at one point was placed in consideration as the California state capital.
Presently, most of the town of Columbia is a California State Park, and it is the best preserved Gold Rush era town in the entire state.
The Angels Camp Museum was established in the 1900s. The outside of the museum has various outdoor exhibits.
The “Just Jerry” is a unique shaped tram that was utilized in the town.
The Angels Camp Pelton Wheel was used to power the local logging operations.
The tractor “Ol Beth” was a steam tractor utilized in the 19th century.
The bells, on display in front of the museum, signify the bells that have been utilized for churches and other buildings over time.
The signal cannons were used for mining operations in Angels Camp.
In 1851, the Angels Hotel was built within Angels Camp, California by C.C. Lakes. The Angels Hotel is the site where Mark Twain wrote the tale, “The Jumping Frog of Calaveras”.
The Angels Hotel is at the end of the town of Angels Camp.
The town of Gustine, California has a courthouse and jail built in 1911 that remained in use until 1980. The former courthouse and jail was purchased by the Gustine Historical Society and reopened as the Gustine Musuem in July 4, 1990.
The town of Gustine is named after Henry Miller’s daughter Sarah Alice Miller, whom was nicknamed “Gussie” after she had passed away as a child.
On midnight at January 16, 1920, “Prohibition” went into effect, a year after the passage of the 18th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
While Prohibition only lasted thirteen years, the movement had been going on in various towns across the country. Women who supported the sufferage movement also supported Christian temperance movements such as the Anti-Saloon League.
Women where the primary force behind prohibition since they became tired of the drunken nature of men who attended at all male saloons. Many married women were beaten and unfortunately sexually abused by drunk husbands.
The Coarsegold Historic Museum is located in the former town of Willow Glen in central California.
The Musuem hosts various archeological artifacts inflicting the “Fresno Scrapper”.
The Bear Valley, California IOOF built the “Oso Hall” off of present day Highway 49 in 1862. The IOOf used that building until 1950. In 1954, the Osa Hall was reestavlsihed as the OSA Hall Musuem.
John Charles Frémont established a fort in the western Sierra of California.
The fort was eventually abandoned by Frémont and his followers.
In 1847, Miss Trabucco established her first store in Bear Valley, California.
The store was part of a town that once had a population of over a thousand people.
The area of Bear Valley, California, has gone by several other names such as Haydenville, Biddle’s Camp, Biddleville, Simpsonville, and Johnsonville. Bear Valley was named after John Charles Frémont’s involvement with the “Bear Revolt”, after the town was established as Frémont’s headquarters within Mariposa County, after he purchased the Rancho Las Mariposas Grant. Frémont built a home called “The White House” and a hotel, near the “Oso House”, which hosted famous patrons such as Ulysses S. Grant, within Bear Valley.
The Awahnee Tavern was originally owned by Franklin Dennis, and would pass along to various owners in a short period of time. The Awahnee Tavern is a site where President Theodore Roosevelt had lunch on his way to meet John Muir for their hiking trip in Yosemite. Other famous individuals such as Susan B. Anthony, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and the Crown Prince Albert of Belguim also visited the tavern.
The tavern is currently abandoned and a historical marker indicates the site.
The California State Mining and Mineral Museum was established in Mariposa County along the Western Sierra on Highway 49.
The California State Geological Society was founded in 1865, before the California Mineral Musuem was established, and has collected mineral specimens from around the world.
The mineral gallery consists of various minerals from sites of other countries such as Nuristan, Afghanistan.
The Almaden Quicksilver mine, the first mine in California that existed before the Gold Rush, is featured. Interestingly, the California State Park System states that there was a Prussian connection to the owner of the Almaden Quicksilver Mine whom was illegally mining on federal land while Abraham Lincoln was president.
The largest existing golden nugget found from the Gold Rush era is on display at the Musuem.
In Southern California a 20 mule team was utilized fo mine for Boran.
In 1849, a group of Mormons established the “Mormon Bar” camp along present day Highway 49. During the “Gold Rush”, the area became the largest Chinese settlement in Mariposa County.
Presently, the former camp of “Mormon Bar” is within the Mariposa County Fairgrounds and the California State Mining and Mineral Musuem.
The Northern Mariposa County Museum And History Center is located in Coulterville, California, off of Highway 49.
Thomas and Caroline McCarty built their original building as a home. When the home was leased to Percy Davis she added two floors and converged the building into the “Coulter Hotel” which was eventually renamed the Coulterville Hotel. In 1962, after Vernon C. Peppers bought the hotel, he converted the building into a commercial musuem. On July 16, 1976, Vernon Peppers sold the Musuem and the Northern Mariposa County Museum and History Center was established soon after in 1978.
The museum has the “Whistling Billy” train that was utilized by miners after the Oliver Fiske Freighting Company of Greeley Hill delivered the train to Coulterville in 1894. The trestle that the Whistling Billy train was on was destroyed by a wildfire and the train fell on the dirt within a canyon.
The train was left in a canyon for several years before it was brought back, by a team of horses, to Coulterville to be restored. The train was placed in front of the museum after the restoration was completed.
In 1850, the town of Coulterville, California was founded after the land was settled by George W. Coulter. Currently the town is comprised of 42 historical buildings, such as Jeffrey’s Hotel.
In front of Mariposa County’s “Coulterville Park” lies a historical marker regarding the founding the of area.
A was was built in Coulterville in the 1840s, to serve Mexican patrons. In 1851, after the Mexican-American War, the American owners established the building as Hotel Jeffrey.
On January 10, 1919, is the allied forces, America, Britain and France, established the “Treaty of Versailles” with the axis powers.
The Mariposa Musuem and History Center is unique from other museums, compared to all of the museums that I’ve been to, since there is hand drawn maps and illustrations on the walls explaining the history of the county.
The Mariposa Musuem and History Center was established in April 14, 1957 within the Mariposa Masonic Lodge.
Mariposa County, California was founded by pioneers of Yosemite Valley, miners and loggers by Americans who came to California during the Gold Rush. In 1849, Sonoran Miners, that were part of the original 49ers, helped establish the busy town of Agua Fria, California, which was made as the county seat of Mariposa. After a flood destroyed the log cabin courthouse at Agua Fria in 1851, the town of Mariposa was made as the next county seat.
The town of Mariposa was named after the clusters of butterflies the Spanish saw at at Mariposa Creek in 1806 and the name “Mariposa” is Spanish and Portuguese for buttery. Explorer John C. Frémont was one of the first American landowner of part of the lands within Mariposa County after buying the title from the land from a Mexican resident.
Highway 49 is a road that passes though a multiple of towns that began during the “Gold Rush” era of California.
The Iron Door Saloon, which was established in 1852 in the town of Groveland, is California’s oldest continually operating saloon.
The saloon has a mural at the front facade of the building along with a historical marker.
The Groveland Yosemite Gateway Musuem lies along Highway 120.
The Groveland Yosemite Gateway Musuem has exhibits on the various families and iconic persons within Groveland.
In 1849, the town of Groveland, California, which is considered as the “Northern Gateway to Yosemite” was established.
In 1850, a Chinese Worker Camp was established along the Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail. The former camp is the location of the first “Chinese Gang War” in the United States.
Knight’s Ferry, California is a site where President Ulysses S. Grant has worked to create a coveted bridge.
The Travis Air Force Base is named after Brigadier General Robert Fallagant Travis.
During World War II, Eleanor Roosevelt took the Consairways from Travis Air Force Base to the Pacific front of the war, against Japan, to boost troop morale.
During World War II the British utilized model airplanes to show airmen the gunnery range of their aircraft and that of enemy aircraft. Eventually, Americans adopted the British methods and developed a method to create plastic models of airplanes to be used for military training.
Author Philip Andrew Hamilton recieved a partical tour of the base from John Takeuchi, a Travis Air Force Heritage Center volunteer who used to be interned at a Japanese American camp in Arkansas south of Little Rock.
Welcome to the new decade starting with the year 2020! I have been fortunate to have been able to travel so much since starting my Hamilton Historical Records website in February 2018. Recently, I drove to Pioneertown, Joshua Tree National Park, Manazar, the Salton Sea, Slab City and Japantown in Los Angelos. I spent Christmas Day at the Sand Dunes in Death Valley, the Ghost Town Ballarat, and at the ancient Tufas near Ridgecrest and Sears Valley, California. Later this year I will take another cross county trip where I will be going to North and South Dakota for my first time. I’m also hoping to visit Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, and other states I have not visited yet during my trip. Cheers to the new year!!!
Between 1873 to 1873, William W. Cozzens built a home in Willow Glen, within Santa Clara County, California.
William W. Cozzens is considered to be the first to develop a fruit drying method, through the Cozzens Fruit Company, which was utilized to make the Santa Clara Valley the fruit drying capital of the world.
In 1852, the Burrell School was established by the Santa Cruz Pioneer Lyman Burrell off of present day Summit Road.
Presently, the former Burrell School operates as a vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
In 1956, the rock n’roll star Elvis Presley conducted his first performance, that his manager Colonel Tom Parker booked for him, at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Colonel Parker was once the manager of country star Eddy Arnold and worked with Elvis since he saw potential in him. Elvis Presley did an uptempo version of Willie Mae Thornton’s 1953 song “Hound Dog” for his first Vegas show, a cover song which Elvis eventually recorded during the summer of 1956. Elvis’s first show was in front of a middle aged crowd whom was not receptive to his high energy level. It was not until Elvis was booked for a “teenager only” show that he received an energetic reception from a crowd in Las Vegas.
The musician Liberace developed a friendship with Elvis and gave him advice on how to improve his stage presence, after Colonel Tom Parker introduced them to each other. Elvis came to Liberace’s show at the Rivera and saw the flare he wore on stage for the entirety of his upbeat performances. During one Vegas show Elvis wore Liberace’s gold lamé jacket on stage while Liberace was strumming Elvis’s guitar. The two musicians moved to Palm Springs, California and regularly spent time getting dinner together at each other’s homes.
Elvis did take a break from show business to spend time working the US Army. In July 1969, Elvis rebooted his career after signing a 7 year contract to perform at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.
The exhibit showed how pregnant Japanese woman and women with children were effected by the radiation from the blast.
Hiroshima did eventually recover from the destruction caused by one of the atomic bombs to be dropped into the city at the end of World War II.