Stanislaus River mining

South of the Calaveras River ran the Stanislaus and near the river, some twenty miles southeast of San Andreas, was Tuttletown. Originally called Mormon Gulch because a party of Mormons had first mined there in the spring of 1848, the name was changed after a judge named A. A. H. Tuttle settled there that summer and built a log cabin that became the nucleus of the town. In the beginning, like so many other places in the mining country, it was populated only because of its rich placer deposits, but as time went on lucrative quartz deposits were located, permanent investments were made and, instead of becoming another gold rush ghost town, Tuttletown continued to be an active mining site for some time.

Byrnes Ferry on the Stanislaus

At about the same time, in the summer of 1848, a jackass that belonged to one of the miners in Tuttletown wandered away and its owner finally found him several miles upriver in a gulch near what would become Robinson’s Ferry which proved to be immensely rich and for a time was considered the wealthiest place in California. A man known as Major Means on a ten-foot square claim took out $10,000 from it, and in doing so he found a quartz lead that was reported to be so pure that it yielded two-thirds gold to quartz. Another miner named Carrington found a quartz lead that made him $100 to $300 a day by simply pounding the rock with a hammer.

Yet another vein found by a black man known as Dick was so rich that it proved the ruin of its discoverer. After selling several shares in the mine Dick went to work on what was left and in a relatively short time he left for Sacramento with a $100,000 in his pocket, intent on having a good time. But once there he quickly lost all his money, and was then kicked and cuffed from all sides then abused and humiliated so badly that he cut his own throat to end his misery.

 

Comments

  1. I SUOI COMMENTI SULLA SAGA DELLA CORSA ALL’ORO SONO ECCELLENTI.mI COMPLIMENTO CON LEI,E PER LE SUE PAGINE ORIGINALI DELLA STORIA DEL VECCHIO WEST,SINCERI AUGURI E SALUTI DALL’ITALIA.mORETTI SILVANO.

  2. I’ve been to the Mother Lode country almost every year since 1969. Don’t sneeze or blink when you go through Tuttletown today or you’ll miss it. There’s a small convenience store on the main road Hwy 49 and that’s it. Hard to imagine what was once there.

    • A lot of the early mining camps disappeared when the placer gold ran out, Tom. Some are only remembered by the name of the road that goes there. Even Coloma, the first boomtown built around the sawmill where the first gold was found, is mostly gone even though the site is now a state park.

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