The Stories Behind the Blocks


Kit Carson
He pauses at the Mokelumne River in 1884, which he cannot cross, and thus marks his map West Point. The name West Point is still used today.1976-1

Worked by Hope Loomis

 Murphys Congregational Church
Built and dedicated as the Congregational Church in 1897. Services are held every Sunday.

Worked by Lillian Staple
Murphys Hotel
“Unsurpassed by any public house outside San Francisco.” The hotel was built and opened for business in 1856 to serve the travelers from all parts of the world visiting the mines and the Calaveras Grove of Big Trees. Ulysses S. Grant, Black Bart, Mark Twain and many other notables signed the register.

Worked by Hope Loomis


Worked by Candace Hendricks

 Milton Railway Station – 1871
The Stockton-Copperopolis railway increased the flow of mining provisions and materials to the mines and logging camps of Calaveras County. It brought tourists to visit Wawona (Yosemite) or the Calaveras Big Trees. Only a few lonely buildings remain in the once thriving community of Milton.

Black Bart-San Andreas Courthouse
This square reminds us of the trial of the infamous outlaw, Black Bart, well-known gold country stage-coach robber. The Justice Court House of San Andreas was built in 1867 and was used as the county court-house until 1966. It now houses the Calaveras County Historical Society.1976-5

Worked by Bobby Comer & Ruby Jack


Worked by Rosemary Atkins

Copperopolis Armory
The Copperopolis Armory was built in 1862 for the training and housing of the Copperopolis Blues unit of the Union Army. Copperopolis helped Abe Lincoln win the civil war by producing large amounts of copper for the north. The Copperopolis armory has been restored in 1976 as a community Bicentennial project.

Douglas Flat School

Built in 1854, was originally a dance hall and later became a school in the Vallecito school district, which is the only continuous independent school district in the county.

Worked by Frances Johnson

1976-8Worked by Marilyn Cheney

Sheep Ranch Mine
The Sheep Ranch Mine, founded in 1868, was not only the deepest hard rock head mine in the Mother Lode but also the most productive. $7,000,000 was taken out in the 1860’s. Senator George Hearst once had an interest in the mine. Grazing sheep in the area gave it its name.

 Dinkelspiels Store & Wells Fargo Bank

The Store in Vallecito was built in 1854 and operated as a General Store during the Gold Rush days. The Wells Fargo Office next door was a vital transportation link between the Mother Lode Communities.

Worked by Joan Muetterties & Ilene English


Both Squares Worked by Ann Cornwall

The California Bicentennial Medallion
The California Golden Bear stands proudly among the laurel leaves representing California’s heritage.

The Calaveras County Bicentennial Medallion
The Sequoia Gigantic Redwood reaches skyward while snow-capped mountains form the background. Calaveras County’s symbols, the gold pan with the crossed tools, and the famous jumping frog, are included in the Seal.

Bret Harte & Mark Twain
Two famous writers used Calaveras County as a backdrop in their literary ventures and thus made us famous around the world. Bret Harte wrote “The Luck of Roaring Camp” and Mark Twain wrote “The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”  Both writers found world fame from their writing.1976-12

Worked by Edna Payne


Worked by Joan Self

Avery Hotel (Halfway House)
Avery, located halfway between Murphys and Dorrington, served as a rest spot in the 1850s. It was used extensively by loggers, freighting teams, and cattlemen with their herds. In 1886, the second story was added, and it still serves as a Hotel today.

Angels Camp
Angels Camp was rich indeed as the Mother Lode vein was close to the surface and rich Mother Lode history abounds in this mining camp.  It was in the Angels Camp Hotel, built in 1865, that Mark Twain heard the story of the “Celebrated Jumping Frog” from the Mississippi river boat pilot.1976-14

Worked by Rene Coe


Worked by Ruth Darby & Jackie Silva

Manual Logging TractorThe old steam workhorse was used extensively on the Moran Ranch, and it greatly increased the production in the logging industry by moving logs to the mill more rapidly. It’s use had to be discontinued because it’s loud noise frightened the horses and many mishaps occurred. The huge steam tractor may be seen standing proudly outside the Angels Camp museum.

 Stump-Trunk Calaveras Big Trees
The Calaveras Big Trees were first discovered in 1852. The mammoth trees were recognized around the world and became California’s early tourist attractions. The “stump” has been used as a dance floor, pavilion and a bar, and the huge “trunk” has been used as a bowling alley.1976-16

Worked by Jean Feathers


Worked by Carol Tyrell, Jean Feathers, Hope Loomis and Mary Lou Humber

Mokelumne Hill – IOOF Building
The IOOF Fraternal Order added another floor to the two-story Adams Express Company building to become the first three-story building in the Mother Lode. Ladder wagon pumpers and volunteer fire brigades, like the one on the left, answered the dreaded cry “FIRE”, which plagued the Mother Lode Communities.

Angels Iron Works
The Angels Iron Works was built in 1854. It is the oldest foundry west of the Mississippi in continuous use. It is still actively supplying gears and machinery for the mines, logging operations, and agriculture industry.

Worked by Wilma Brown


Worked by Bev Ashby, Suzanne Kuehl, Bobby Comer and Marilyn Cheney

 Dorrington Hotel
The Dorrington Hotel was originally the Cold Springs Ranch, which was a toll gate station for the Big Trees-Carson Valley turnpike. A comfortable night’s lodging, good food and a holding corral for the cattle and horses made this a welcome stop on the trip up Ebbetts Pass.

Placer Mining

Melones on the Stanislaus River
A typical gold panner trying his luck on the Stanislaus river in the Carson Hills-Melones area. The word meaning “Melon seeds” which the gold nuggets from this area resembled. The Perkins Nugget, weighing 190 pounds was found in this area in 1854.


Worked by Linda Swanson