Sunday, February 21, 2010

Feb 20th- Rainy Weekend in Moraga

I am staying in Moraga today but thought I would do some web research on Jackson. When I was there last time, I went in search of the Jackson Gate that is on all the historical site signs and couldn't find it. I did stop in front of this church on a hill with lots of large granite grave markers. It was the Serbian Orthodox church..
Serbian Orthodox Church


Not sure why, but this surprised me to see this many graves of Serbian people. So now I am looking to see what I can find online and found a couple of websites that are helpful.

The first is the official city of Jackon site, http://ci.jackson.ca.us/About%20Jackson.html, and it has a historical walking tour you can print out as well a brochure of the pioneer cemetary there. (There is also a pioneer cemetary on the way to Valley Springs that I might stop at and look around next time. )

The city site has a link to another site that actually has a "virtual walking tour" of the downtown area... pictures you can scroll and see the old buildings.
http://www.intownlive.com/california/jackson/downtown.aspx
It has a lot of advertisements but does give you a sense of the history of the town.

Back to the Serbian Church- It appears that people from all over the world came to Jackson during the gold rush days, including those from Serbia.

ST. SAVA’S SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, 724 N. Main



The Mother Church of this denomination is located about a quarter of a mile northerly on North Main (or Jackson Gate Road). If you don‟t wish to walk that far, return to it later in your car. According to newspaper items, the Serbians established a cemetery there in 1894 and then built the small, white church with Russian Orthodox cupola. It was the first church in North America of the Serbian Orthodox Church, though it was dedicated on December 16, 1894, under the “Greek-Russian Church of America, diocese of Alaska.” After the 1922 Argonaut mine disaster, 11 of its 47 victims were buried here.
 
This town and the other small towns in the foothills, were truly multi-cultural and diverse in a time where that was not the normal way of life. How many towns during that era could say they had a large population of Serbians living there? I expected the Chinese laborers but this is surprising.
 
According to wikipedia, Jackson also was called:
 
Botilleas, Botilleas Spring, Bottileas, Bottle Spring,[3] and Botellas
 
And now I realize why I couldn't find the Jackson Gate. I was looking for some kind of man-made, physical structure, like an archway or a gate... but no...
Jackson Gate (CHL #118)—Jackson Gate, on the north fork of Jackson Creek, takes its name from a fissure in a reef of rock that crosses the creek. In 1850 about 500 miners worked here and the first mining ditch in the county was dug here; its water sold for $1 per inch.

http://ohp.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=21390

Next time I go looking for a historical landmark, I will read the sign first so I know what I am looking for!

Here is what the site says about Mokelumne Hill...

NO. 269 MOKELUMNE HILL - Mokelumne is an Indian word, first applied to the nearby river. Earliest settlement was at Happy Valley by French trappers. Gold was discovered by discharged members of Stevenson's Regiment in 1848. Mokelumne Hill was the center of the richest placer mining section of Calaveras County and one of the principal mining towns of California. Corral Flat produced over thirty millions in gold. Sixteen feet square constituted a claim. The so-called 'French War' for possession of gold mines occurred in 1851. 'Calaveras Chronicle' was established in 1850. Fights between grizzly bears and bulls amused early residents. The town was destroyed by fires in 1854, 1864, and 1874. County seat of Calaveras County from 1853 to 1866.


Location: SW corner of Main and Center Sts, Mokelumne Hill

Lots to explore... I will get out there and look at some of these places as I can and post them here.

julie