Tuolumne River mining at Jamestown

Col. George James came to the Tuolumne area with Benjamin Wood and James Savage. He soon began mining about a mile east of Woods Crossing and the settlement that grew there was called Jamestown after him. Some said that more gold taken was taken from Woods Creek than any stream in California of similar size. Two branches, Sullivan’s and Curtis’ Creek were comparable in gold deposits. Jamestown attracted a large number of miners and was affected with the same unrest as other towns after the foreign miner’s tax was imposed.

Main Street, Jamestown, CA

Then, almost as soon as these squabbles had settled down, James began to have his own quarrels with the residents. He employed a lot of miners and Indians in his operations and lived a lavish lifestyle. When his endeavors failed Col. James fled town in the middle of the night with his employees and his debtors unpaid. The anger against him was so great that for a while the name of the town was changed to American Camp, but in 1851 the residents voted the name Jamestown back in.


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