Eugene O’Neill

The “Tao House” Of American Author Eugene O’Neill

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’s Note:

Author Philip Andrew Hamilton visited the Tao House during the Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year, on January 25, 2020.


The Tuolumne County Museum And History Center

The Tuolumne County Museum and History Center is located within the former Tuolumne County Jail in the town of Sonora, California.

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”.

Columbia, California, William Cavalier Museum

William Cavalier Museum

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.

Columbia, California

The Native Sons Of The Golden West Hall In Columbia, California

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.

Columbia, California

The Founding Of Columbia, California

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.

Angels Camp, California, Mark Twain

The Angels Camp Museum

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.

Gustine, California, Henry Miller, Sarah Alice Miller

The Gustine Musuem

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.


January 16, 1920 – Alcohol Prohibition Went Into Effect Nationwide

On midnight at January 16, 1920, “Prohibition” went into effect, a year after the passage of the 18th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Drawing of women praying in front of a saloon during prohibition attempts in the 1800s.

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.

Members of the Anti-Saloon League of America gathered in Atlantic City, N.J., in 1915.

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.

Bear Valley, California, John Charles Frémont

Bear Valley, California

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.

John Muir

The Awahnee Tavern – Where President Theodore Roosevelt Had Lunch On His Way To See John Muir

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.

Afghanistan, Nuristan, Afghanistan

The California State Mining And Mineral Museum

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.

The Northern Mariposa County Museum And History Center

The Northern Mariposa County Museum And History Center

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 Whistling Billy after it was damaged by a wildfire.

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.

Agua Fria, California, Mariposa County, California

The Founding Of Mariposa County, California

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.

California Historical Marker 518 at the former town of Agua Fria, California.

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.

Brigadier General Robert Fallagant Travis, Travis Air Force Base

The Travis Air Force Base

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’s Note:

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.


2020 – Entering A New Decade

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!!!

The Cozzens Fruit Company

The Home Of William W. Cozzen

Photograph of the Cozzen home Historical marker. (Hamilton Photograph taken December 31, 2019).

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.

Portrait of William W. Cozzen inside of the residence. (Hamilton Photograph taken December 31, 2019).

Elvis Aron Presley, Palm Springs, California

1956 – Elvis Presley Performed For His First Time In Las Vegas

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.

On February 26, 1969. Las Vegas International Hotel-Casino President Alex Shoofey, Elvis Presley and Bill Miller toured the International Hotel’s construction site and signed Presley’s contract to perform in the hotel’s showroom.

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.

Japan, Los Angeles, California

The Japanese American National Museum’s Exhibit “Under A Mushroom Cloud”

In December 2019, the Japanese American National Museum hosted an exhibit about the nuclear detonations in Japan at the end of World War II called “Under A Mushroom Cloud”.

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.