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

By C. M. Goethe | Go to book overview

pain of many a sufferer to follow the adventures of Mrs. Wiggs' three daughters, Asia, Australia, and little Europena. The threat to Australia to spank her doll,--the story of Mrs. Wiggs' birthday and the false curls "bought at a reduced price from a travelling salesman ten years before." The dying horse, afterward christened "Cuba," that Billy brought home, that Mrs. Wiggs cured with calomel, "turkentine," soup that made the nag "think he was havin' a sunstroke"--all these would help many a patient thru a bad day.

A CABBAGE PATCH must be made up of cabbage heads. In the evolution of language referred to above, what, in 1849* was called a "cabbage head" by 1929 had become "a moron" and in 1949, is "one of low I. Q." Above shows real progress in eugenics.


CALICO MOUNTAINS

WHAT'S IN A NAME? With that of CALICO MOUNTAINS, one might expect a romance of a girl in sunbonnet and calico. The Calicos have bright color, yes. But their real tale is of the CALICO MOUNTAINS' lost mine. This one really comes up to the brag. And, what may--and then again may not--make the readers' mouth water, it is a tale of one gold miner's dream of--well, listen!

It is said when Greeley's men were starving on his ill-fated North Pole expedition, when no food was left but oilcloth and boot-leather, they deadened hunger pangs by composing menus of what they would order if rescued. A similar urge toward comfort and satiety is seen in certain California desert stations. It shows in such desert placenames as KLONDIKE, SIBERIA. Barstow's name has no particular significance. The town has acquired no folk-legend. Barstow, however, is where occurred a mining incident that may be worth repeating here:

We-two were on the trail of the generalized ancestor of the two- humped Asiatic camel, of the one-humped African camel, also of the long-necked Peruvian llama. This tiny, cat-sized camel is found fossil in the CALICO MOUNTAINS. Our base-of-operations was Barstow. I was departing after cashing a check at Barstow Bank when a miner entered. He had tied his burro to the hitching-post outside. From it swung pan and pick. He laid on the counter a buckskin sack. Its gold weighed, if memory serves accurately, $3,270. He said, "Give me $10 in an envelope. That will buy the next burro. Three "twenties" for running expenses, then a $3,200 cashier's check."

I addressed him in miner's lingo. He knew. He was talkative at once. "In course, I'll tell the yarn. In the Okanagun excite-

____________________
*
It will be recalled that Shakespearean pundits similarly dated some of his plays from their slang contents.

-24-

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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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