MINERS & BUSINESS MENS
This is one of the oldest settlements of Tuolumne County. At the April Election, of 1850, it was made a candidate for County Seat, in an irregular vote called by L. C. Gunn and others, and is said by some to have received a plurality vote on that occasion. The Legislature in the meantime had passed an Act making Sonora the County Seat. Flattered by the prospect of a cordial support from Columbia she was again a candidate for that honor, April 2d, 1855, at which time she was badly beaten by Sonora.
The local advantages of Jamestown are considerable. It is situated midway between the Tuolumne and Stanislaus Rivers and in the midst of the auriferous region which follows the Foot Hills of the Sierra, north and south.--Its surface diggings are therefore good and perhaps second to none in the county, unless it be to those of Columbia. These, in connection with the extensive tunneling operations in the adjacent Table Mountain, will perhaps always make it a favorite mining locality. The facilities for obtaining water are here equal, if not superior to those of any other section of the county. Wood’s Creek, which passes through the town, was in mid-summer dry at the first settlement of this country, but is now a perennial stream. Johnson’s and Gleason’s ditches furnish more or less water throughout the year. The other ditches passing near the town and carrying water principally along the face of Table Mountain are the Columbia and Stanislaus, the Dockendorf, the Pine, the Rackliff and the Peppermint Creek ditches. This last is a new ditch taking water to Butterfield Flat. The Jamestown and Chinese ditch takes the surplus water of Wood’s Creek, at a dam below the town, and throws it into Chinese Camp.--
The central situation of this town in reference to other mining localities, adds greatly to its convenience as a mining locality, as well as a point of trade. It is about eight miles southward of Columbia and Springfield, about five miles southward and westward of Shaw’s Flat and Sonora, and is the great thoroughfare to these mining and trading communities. It is also about six miles north of Chinese Camp and nearer to Montezuma City, Algerine Camp, Yorktown, Poverty Hill, and Camp Seco, are all within from one to five miles of it.
The vote at the fall election of 1855, numbered 299. The assessment on property for the year 1855, was $183,000.
In October 1855, a portion of the town was consumed by fire, causing a loss of some $50,000 in goods and houses.
Jamestown contains about thirty stores and shops, in which is conducted all the different branches of business, necessary to supply the wants of it’s citizens. It has one church, one day and night school, a Masonic Hall, Hotels Saloons &c.
Two daily lines of stages for Stockton, pass through Jamestown, as well as all the freight wagons for the Camps above.
WOOD’S CROSSING--This locality is noted for being the first mining ground, that was worked in the Southern mines. It was settled in the month of August 1848, by Wood, Savage, Heffernan and others. It was much celebrated in its early days for the richness of its gold mines. There were many Indians in this vicinity at that time, and the first traders that came in bought gold dust from them, giving them its weight in beads, raisins &c. And one man actually obtained $6,000 worth of gold, for a small lot of beads that cost $2.50 in San Francisco. Wood’s crossing is situated south one mile from Jamestown, and six from Sonora, on the mail route to Stockton. The surface mining in this vicinity is still very good, also some rich quarts veins.
A Post Office was established here in Sep. 1850, afterwards removed to Jamestown. The number of votes polled in this precinct is from 70 to 80.
MINING LAWS OF JAMESTOWN DISTRICT.
At a meeting of the miners of the above district, held in Jamestown on Wednesday evening, Nov. 23d, 1853. The following laws were adopted.
Whereas, a number of persons who were not inhabitants of this district, assembled together and assumed to make rules, and regulations for our government; which rules and regulations were in a manner inapplicable to us; therefore for our own government, we do hereby enact the following.
ART. 1. All laws and regulations heretofore enacted in this district are hereby repealed.
ART. 2. The boundaries of the Jamestown district are as follows. Commencing at the mouth of Frenchman’s gulch, on Wood’s Creek, being the old boundary of said district, at Perry’s bridge; thence up said gulch, and its northern tributary, to the summit of the range of hills, back of Jamestown; thence along the said range, to the “half way house,” on Wood’s Creek; thence in a direct line, to the reservoir of the Peppermint Creek Ditch Co. on Peppermint Creek; thence to the Table Mountain, and along the base of said mountain, down to the most southerly tributary of Butterfield’s gulch; thence down the said gulch to Wood’s Creek; thence up said Creek, to the place of beginning.
ART. 3. Each miner shall be entitled to one claim of 100 feet square, and no more.
ART. 4. All claims held and secured by former laws, shall be considered as secured under these laws.
ART. 5. All Claims hereafter located, must be ditched around them, one foot wide and one foot deep, within three days from the time of location, and notices placed upon them, unless the owners are constantly at work upon them, in which case, stakes at each corner will be sufficient.
ART. 6. Any claim that is not worked within six working days after the water is on it, or after it is in a condition to be worked, shall be considered as vacated.
ART. 7. When any miner wishes to dig up an enclosure, he must first give the owner, sufficient security to indemnify him, or her, for all damages he or she may sustain by such diggings.
ART. 8. It shall not be lawful for any one to dig within twelve feet of any building, or in any way to hinder, or obstruct, the entrance to said buildings.
ART. 9. When any person claims more than one claim, under these laws, he must show satisfactorily, that he has paid, a valuable and legal consideration for such extra claim or claims.
ART. 10. Miners shall be entitled to the priority of water, according to the date and situation of the location of their claims.
Transcribed by Sue Wood.
Proofread by Betty Vickroy.
© 2008 Sue Wood.