"What's in a Name?": (Tales, Historical or Fictitious, about 111 California Gold Belt Place Names)

By C. M. Goethe | Go to book overview

THE '49ERS

"WHAT'S IN A NAME?" must always intrigue a Californian born within the quarter-century of California's becoming the 31st star in our flag. In 1875, even 1885, many '49ers still "prospected" the Gold Belt for gold. A miner 18 years old in 1848 still was only 55 in 1885. Before that year, the author's education toward a mining engineer's degree, had begun in an exceedingly practical manner. Father's own Australian Gold Rush boyhood, has been described in this author's "Seeking to Serve." His eldest son obediently commenced to translate into action paternal desires as to mastery of gold-mining technique. As the '49 Centennial nears, he asks himself: Has one not a responsibility to future generations to place "between covers" certain '49er legends, folk tales? These were heard as a lad, when one "prospected," panned, horn- spooned, windlassed, timbered, drilled.

These pages may be interpreted as emphasizing the vices of what Browning calls "a Male Land." May it therefore here be recorded the author's experience with prospectors hunting for pockets, ledges, lodes, 1885 to 1899? These listed a remarkably high percentage of those deeply spiritual. Bible-Toter Jedediah Smith is an earlier example. The rollicking men who swarmed into California in '49 were youngsters. They HAD to have a keen sense of humor to survive. Hence they gave us place names such as BEDBUG, LAS PULGAS (The Fleas), WHISKEYTOWN, WHISKEY BAR, WHISKEY SLIDE, PORT WINE, DELIRIUM TREMENS, PAIR-O-DICE, SHIRTTAIL. Same must not be taken too seriously. Only a few, like "JESUS MARIA" were profane. Only two, T. D. HOLLOW, also the authentic legend of SHIRT- TAIL--both hereinafter omitted--were obscene.

-XIII-

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"What's in a Name?": (Tales, Historical or Fictitious, about 111 California Gold Belt Place Names)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page I
  • Dedication III
  • The '49ers XIII
  • Pioneer Leadership XIV
  • Foreword XV
  • Gold Rush Days' Chinese XVIII
  • List of Illustrations IXX
  • Amador City 1
  • Angel's Camp 2
  • Antelope 5
  • Brown's Valley 13
  • Brandy Flat 18
  • Butte City 20
  • Calico Mountains 22
  • Camptonville 24
  • Carmelito 25
  • Carson Creek 26
  • Cherokee (butte County) 28
  • Cherokee, (calaveras County) 30
  • Chile Gulch 33
  • Chinese Camp 35
  • Coloma 38
  • Coyote Diggings 50
  • Delirium Tremens 51
  • Donkeyville 52
  • Doty's Flat 55
  • Double Springs 57
  • Downieville 62
  • Eel River 65
  • Fiddletown 68
  • Folsom 71
  • Forbestown 72
  • Forest Hill Divide 74
  • Forest Home 77
  • Gold Run 81
  • Gouge-Eye 82
  • Grass Valley 85
  • Growlersburg 87
  • Hangtown 87
  • Hangtown "Fry" 88
  • Hangtown (deer Creek) 91
  • Humbug 91
  • Hundred-Ounce Gulch 92
  • Illinoistown 93
  • Jackass Hill 96
  • Jayhawk 96
  • Jesus Maria 98
  • Kentucky Slide 99
  • Liars' Flat 102
  • Lotus 104
  • Marysville 105
  • Michigan Bar 107
  • Michigan Bluff 111
  • Mokelumne Hill 112
  • Murphy's 120
  • Mad Mule Canyon, Whiskey Creek 124
  • Nevada City 127
  • One-Horse Town 128
  • Oroville 132
  • Paradise 133
  • Pinchemtight 134
  • Pokerville 137
  • Prairie City 139
  • Railroad Flat--Also Bummerville 140
  • Rattlesnake Bar 142
  • Rebel Hill 145
  • Red Dog 148
  • Rough and Ready 150
  • Shingle Springs 152
  • Sicord Flat (not "Sucker Flat") 152
  • Slumgullion 153
  • Smartsville 156
  • Sorefinger 159
  • Squaw Hollow 159
  • Sutter Creek 160
  • Sutter's Fort 162
  • Tiger Lily 164
  • Timbuctu 166
  • Tin Cup 174
  • Twenty-Mule-Team Canyon 175
  • Vallecito 177
  • Virginiatown 179
  • W. Y. O. D. 185
  • You-Be-Damned 187
  • Greeks and Forty-Niners 187
  • Glossary Of California Gold Belt Terms 190
  • Index 199
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