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

By C. M. Goethe | Go to book overview

LOTUS

WHAT'S IN A NAME? That of LOTUS evidences the wisdom of Hamlet "Slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune." The original name of LOTUS, nearly a century ago, decided in favor of "not to be." It went over the precipice into the Abyss of Oblivion.

About 1900, there still lived on the American River's bank between LOTUS and COLOMA, a '49er who once could have told. One of Father's mountain ranches was near LOTUS. I took my Sweetheart there to pan her first gold. Said aged miner was in his cabin. It was as "shipshape" as that of a China Clipper's captain's. An Argonaut was as tidy about his shack as he was fastidious about his well-groomed beard. Our LOTUS friend was a courtier: "Yes, the young lady shall pan a pan that will open her pretty eyes with wonder." He had a bit of virgin gravel, known only to himself. It yielded the $10 monthly that was his living. My Sweetheart, and I too, had the surprise he anticipated. She washed out in that pan over $5 in gold "colors" plus its one nugget. Actually it equalled a fortnight's grub for the old gentleman.

When, however, we interrogated him about LOTUS' name, we grasped that his mind was failing. His brow wrinkled as he tried to remember. "Of course, LOTUS was not its original name. Such notions came when ladies later arrived. When we came, we were racked with troubles: Indians, cholera, hunger, thirst, rattlesnake bites--we just had to invent the most outrageous joke-names we could imagine.". . .

San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego give U. S. A. bases of great value in our strategy in the coming Pacific development. All this because, within rifle shot of LOTUS, Marshall picked up a shiny, tiny nugget that he suspected was gold.


MARIPOSA

WHAT'S IN A NAME? In MARIPOSA'S is embalmed the fact that at least one early Spaniard observed even the insects. . . . Spaniards exploring in California more than once used insect appellations for place names. Best known is MARIPOSA, name of a Gold Belt town, and of a County. Las Mariposas is, of course, Spanish for "butterflies." Anglo-Saxons transferred the name to a genus of Lillales, the "Mariposa tulip or butterfly tulip."

Our photograph shows another placename based on lowly life: LAS GARRAPATAS was the name of a camp where the Spanish suffered from ticks. The name has persisted in that of a canyon emptying in the Ocean just west of the Big Sur highway.

MARIPOSA citizens might feel offended if their municipality

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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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