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

By C. M. Goethe | Go to book overview

FOLSOM

WHAT'S IN A NAME? In FOLSOM'S, biographical history, as also in other California town names, Stockton, Redding, likewise in certain San Francisco street names: Larkin St., Kearney St., Geary St., Leavenworth St. Captain Folsom was a pre-Gold Rush character. It is to be hoped that California never will so lose her '49er spirit as to permit deliberate erasing of such names as has occurred elsewhere by a non-patriotic group. Such distortion of history should be combatted.

Folsom is situated on a terrace of the old Tertiary delta of Bible-toter Jedediah Smith Americanos' River. Between Folsom and Sacramento were other terraces. These the miners called "Bars." Same included "MISSISSIPPI BAR," "SAILOR'S BAR," finally the lowest or "SACRAMENTO BAR." The extensive "NATOMA BAR" once was the site of the world's largest vineyard. It now is a man-made desert of cobbles.

These ancient rivers are of fascinating interest. They will be more and more in the consciousness of Californians as geological illiteracy is reduced. They contain a flora that is referred to repeatedly in these pages. One species thereof is a myrtle. The writer found the wild myrtle in Anatolia.* In the late 1880s, some finds were made of oyster shells in strata at the Orangevale-Fair Oaks bluffs of the American. This may have indicated that the American River delta then was being deposited in the sea, just as the Mississippi builds its delta into the Gulf of Mexico.

Folsom always has been a gold-producer. Placer mining existed on nearby "bars" by Chinese tongs under a "China pump" system. Just as these were being eliminated, under the Diminishing Returns Law, came the introduction of dredger mining. Folsom, on the ancient delta of Bible-Toter Jedediah Smith's American River, has outtdistanced, in dredging, Marysville, on the Yuba River Delta, also Oroville on the Feather River Delta.

Folsom's real claim to immortality, however, is not based on Folsom himself, nor on '49 pan or rocker gold, nor yet on Chinese "companies," nor even on the Dredger fields, still producing. Folsom will always be unforgettable as the world's first experiment in long distance hydroelectricity.

____________________
*
An amusing anecdote of such search is described in the writer's "Geogardening" (p. 229). available in most libraries throughout U. S. A.
See this author's "Sidewhiskered Gallatin and His Little Cascade" in "Sierran Cabin . . . FromSkyscraper (p.150-1).

-71-

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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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