Calaveras County | County located within the blanket Sierra Foothills AVA in California. Its heyday came during the mid-1800s Gold Rush boom.

Geography | Calaveras County begins eight miles south of Jackson, across the Mokelumne River.

County seat–San Andreas | San Andreas, the county seat, is eight miles (12.9 km) south of Mokelumne Hill (see below). Old San Andreas survives along Main Street, along a steep hill just east of the highway, where the 1893 granite and brick county courthouse has been restored and now houses Gold Rush memorabilia in the Calaveras County Museum, on 30 North Main Street. The Black Bart Inn, on 55 Charles Street, is named after Black Bart who was captured and convicted here. He led a double life: as Charles Bolton of San Francisco, who claimed to be a wealthy mining engineer, but in the mining camps he committed thirty robberies between 1877-1883, addressing his victims as ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’, reading them poetry and then taking their money. He was discovered after dropping a handkerchief at the scene (police traced the laundry mark). He was released after 4 years of a 6 year sentence at St Quentin and disappeared without trace after his release.

Main towns

Angels Camp | Gold Rush town thirty miles south (48 km) of Jackson whose museum on Main St has gold panning equipment and behind the museum a hangar full of carriages. The Angels Hotel on Main Street is a saloon where Mark Twain (aged 29) was told a tale that inspired him to write his first published short story, the Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

Carson Hill | Four miles (6.5 km) south of Angels Camp along Highway 49, is now a ghost town but boasted the largest single nugget ever unearthed in California, a piece of solid gold weighing 88.5 kg (195lbs), 38 cm (fifteen inches) long and and 15 cm (six inches) thick.

Mokelume Hill | ‘Moke’ Hill is an unspoilt Gold Rush town. Headstones in the town’s Protestant Cemetery show a range of names of immigrant miners.

Murphys | The Gold Rush town of Murphys nine miles (14.5 km) east of Angels Camp off the steep Highway 4 boasts one of the Gold Country’s few surviving water flumes on its northern edge. The Calaveras State Park, 15 miles (28km) east of Murphys, comprises 2,430 hectares (6,000 acres) of giant sequoia trees.


No certification | Forlorn Hope