Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Sierra Gold Country Series: Jackson (5 of 5)

View Larger Map

Usually a map is placed at the beginning, but I chose to place it at the end so that each destination wasn't revealed. It was only 153 miles round trip, but it was still fun and well worth it!

Jackson has a 1,217 elevation and approximately 4,317 population.

Jackson, named after Colonel Alden Jackson, was founded in 1848 around a year-round spring. Settlement of the region by American pioneers was stimulated by the discovery of gold in the Sierra foothills around 1848. The settlement was named for a local lawyer who was liked by miners named Alden Appola Moore Jackson. Although Amador County was an important mining center, its County seat of Jackson was not typical of the early gold camps. The camp grew quickly, besides being a popular mining spot, it was also a convenient stopping place on the road from Sacramento to the Southern Mines. The camp became an important supply and transportation center for the neighboring towns, and by 1850 the population had reached an estimated 1,500. Jackson grew first as a watering hole for cattle, then as one of the earliest and most durable of the Mother Lode's hardrock mining areas.

In 1853, Jackson became the county seat of newly formed Amador County, California. Previously, from 1851-1852, it had been the county seat of Calaveras County. Jackson may therefore be the only city to have ever been county seat of two different counties at different times.
Placer mining gave out by the 1860s, replaced by hard rock mining. One of the town's most prominent historical landmarks, the Kennedy Mine, began operation in 1860; at the time of its closure during World War II in 1942, it was the deepest gold mine in North America, at 1802 meters; (5912 ft). On August 27, 1922 47 miners became trapped when a fire broke out in the Argonaut mine. All 47 men died in the fire but it wasn't until over a year later that the last body was recovered. The Argonaut mine incident was the worst gold mine disaster in US history.
In Oct, 1942 the US government passed the War Production Board Limitation Order which signaled the demise of gold mining in California. The government needed men for the war and gold was not considered a strategic war metal.

Inscription: In 1848, was a village of huts and tents called
by the Mexicans from the bottles strewn about by those who tarried here.
In 1849, it was named
for Colonel Jackson an early day resident.
In 1853, Amador County was carved out of
Calaveras County and Jackson
became its County Seat.
In 1886, The Order of
was founded here and to commemorate
the semi-centennial year of the order
this monument is erected and dedicated.
I have a little dilemma with this photo, so let me explain. The day I took this pic, it was boarded up. Why? Well some people said it wasn't up to code which makes me sad, because we have always stopped here en route to another destination, to have a cool beverage or two.
Besides that, I could not find any historical information on this building at all! I'm a little bewildered and saddened! But hopefully it will re-open someday soon, and I can find out excactly what I want to know.
This is what the building looks like from another view.

This is the side view of the Wells Fargo Building.
Inscription: Wells Fargo Building

First structure on site built in 1857. Bar portion of building erected in 1856 as Drug Store. Wells Fargo Express Agency moved to store briefly in 1887. Two story section built in 1858, used as a General Store. Easterly one story section built in 1898. Wells Fargo Express located next door 1884-1919.

Ginocchio family owned building from 1857 until sold to present owners. Dan Vukajlovich and Jim Smallfield opened Wells Fargo Club in 1955 and purchased building in 1965.

Dedicated by the Native Sons of the Golden West March 12, 1983.
Joseph Ursino Grand President- In Memory of James Phelan, U.S. Senator

These pics are looking North, opposite The National Hotel.
(I have very little history on this town besides what I wrote at the beginning of this post.)

This town is a great stop on the way out to Tahoe, (if you take the back roads) which we have done previously. Up the road a bit, is Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel. We like to take a trip up there once in awhile, as it's always a great ride.

Well it's time to head back home, as we made a day of it! Thank you for coming along with me to The Sierra Gold Country. I've learned a great deal along the way and enjoyed sharing it with you. Until then...............ride safe!


  1. great post and pics. i love this area, great riding and great people. did you notice if there was still smoke from the fires up there? i was up there Sunday and it was pretty thick. ride safe and enjoy!!

  2. Sounds like such a nice, relaxing trip on a beautiful day. In each picture the sky is absolutely gorgeous!

  3. Wow girl...nice post, I felt like I was back in school, so much information...good job.
    Big Al

  4. So much history! Love the last pictures of the sky view! Beautiful! The sky was definitely cooperating that day :)

  5. If I ever make it back to CA, you will need to be my tour guide! Nice job and great pics!

  6. You continue to be my role model in touring blogs. I know that when I head to your blogs I will always find interesting stuff and gorgeous pictures....thumbs up!

  7. great post--mr jackson and I will have to add this trip to our list of places to go! best c