Calaveras County Gold Districts
Calaveras is known to be one of the places where the biggest gold nugget to have even been found in the United States was found. The great discovery occurred in the Moorage mine at Carson Hill. The nugget weighed 193 pounds. The Carson Hill group of mines made around $26 million for the owners. In the past the Moorage mine was one of the most prosperous in the Mother Lode. There was one hole that was twelve feet long and six feet wide that had over five million dollars worth of gold in it.
This place has a very beautiful campground and it is the perfect spot for prospectors that are vacationing. This place is called the Calaveras Big Trees State Park. In addition to that, this is the perfect place to for those who are interested in picnicking, camping, exploring and fishing and it has an area of 6,000 acres. Pretty nice indeed.
Throughout the years, other parcels of mixed conifer forests, including the much larger South Calaveras Grove of Giant Sequoias (purchased in 1954 for $2.8 million dollars), have been added to the park making the total area of around 2600 (6,500 acres). The North Grove has around 100 mature giant sequoias and the South Grove has around 1,000.
The North Grove has a special attraction which was the “Discovery Tree'” noted by Augustus T. Dowd in 1852 and which was cut in 1853, leaving a huge stump which is the only thing that remains of the tree. It used to measure 24 feet in diameter at its base and was counted by ring count to be of 1,244 years old when it fell.
As well to the popular North Grove, the Park also now has the South Grove, with a 5-mile hiking trip all the way through a fantastic grove of huge sequoias in their natural state. The South Grove has what is known as the “Agassiz” tree, which is 74 m tall and 6.8 m diameter 2 m above ground, and this is the biggest tree in the Calaveras groves. It was named after the zoologist Louis Agassiz.
If you do plan on going to this campsite make sure you lock up your food and stuff at night because there are bears that will munch on the food you leave around.
Another interesting place to go by is called Angel’s Camp. Angel’s camp has a particular show they do called the Frog Jumping Contest. This celebration is something the people do every year in honor of Mark Twain’s story called “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”. In the past some of the creeks that used to produce gold in the Calaveras County were Six Mile Creek, Cherokee Creek, Calaveritos Creek, Indian Creek and the Jesus Maria Creek.