Posted by: ramblinmanjimj | February 23, 2009

Mother Lode Country

Mary lives in Murphys, Ca, eight miles east of Angel Camp which is on CA State Highway 49, so named to remember the discovery of gold in CA in 1849.

The largest city in this area is Sonora, 21 miles from Mary’s home. Mary’s shoulder surgery is now scheduled for March 3rd, so on Friday, February 20th she had to go to Sonora for some pre-op work. While there she showed me some of the sights. One place we went to was the Tuolumne County Historical Museum where they have a nice presentation of the area’s history. This is in the heart of gold country!

The gold dots on the map represents gold camp locations from that era

The following (in part) comes from an article in the Union Democrat Newspaper (Since 1854) written by Bob Holton entitled “Murder and Mayhem once ruled in the Mother Lode” published on february 18, 2009….

“In the 1850’s, Tuolumne and Calaveras (where Mary lives) Counties were two of the most dangerous places in the American West. Sonora, as you may know, had the highest violent crime rate of any town in frontier California. In a single week, for instance, it racked up 12 homicides, not counting those that went unreported.

Just about everyone carried a loaded gun for self defence, and a man’s days were short numbered if he ventured alone in the countryside without arming himself to the teeth. Only the bravest and the drunkest slept alone in a tent.

….Considering our turbulent past, it is a wonder that California’s gold country now ranks high on the short list of most crime-free places to live in the nation.”

This area was definitely an active part in the old wild West!

All material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
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