Ghost Town Explorer
spacer
spacer
JAMESTOWN CALIFORNIA
First known gold strike in Tuolumne County

Occupied Historic Town
Tuolumne County
Circa 1848 to Present

On a warm June afternoon in 1848 A lone prospector, Benjamin Wood of Clatsop Plains Oregon found gold here in a creek he later named Woods Creek. Shortly after his findings he filed the first mining claim in Tuolumne County, naming it Woods Diggins. Word of the find spread throughout, and like many other towns sprouting up all over the Sierras, the rush was on. Benjamin Wood then founded a mining company; "Woods & Company" and became some what of a icon in these parts, as he easily extracted $200 to $300 worth of gold daily by simply prying up nuggets from under the rocks in the creek bed. During the first winter, prospectors relocated camp to higher ground due to flooding which represents the location of the current town today.

The town was later named Jamestown after Colonel George James who arrived here about 1849 and became a popular figure. Colonel James prospered as the owner of a Hotel and Store in the booming town and later served as the defense attorney during the first murder trial held in Tuolumne County in the spring of 1849 after an incident in which a gambler shot in to a saloon and killed a miner. Another famous character to grace this town of his presence was John Capon Adams who arrived in 1850 and was later known as Grizzly Adams. Adams who set up a trading post and tavern near Woods Creek experienced some financial problems associated with gambling, so abandoned his family for the Sierras and freely roamed god's country hunting Grizzly and trapping. He later died in 1860 while on tour with the P.T. Barnum Entertainment Company.

In 1897 a second boom revitalized the town when the Sierra Railroad arrived. The town became the railroad window from Tuolumne County to the outside world. Fires in the years of 1855, 1966, and 1978 have claimed many of the original buildings but there is still plenty to see in this town. Many a famous film and movie were made here including, High Noon, the Virginian, Bonanza, Petticoat Junction, and Little House on Prairie.

 

Ghost Town Explorer

spacer
   spacer
   Copyright 2006 High Desert Drifters, All rights reserved.
DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript