of Sacramento County, 1880
Thompson & West
Excerpts about Folsom
(Note to the reader: this text is
taken verbatim, including any misspellings, long sentences or paragraphs, and
unusual choice of words. We wish to preserve the flavor of the writing style
along with the actual content.)
Was created by the Board of Supervisors on October 20, 1856. It was formerly
included in the boundaries of Mississippi Township.
The land in Granite Township is partly agricultural and partly mineral, being
probably two-thirds mineral and one-third agricultural.
The Natoma Water and Mining Company owns a large amount of land in the township,
which they are working according to the quality of the land, the mineral claims
being leased, the Company furnishing the water; the agricultural and is also
Nearly all of the land in this township is included in the Leidesdorft grant.
The grant was given to Leidesdorff by Micheltorena in 1844. James L. Folsom
bought the interest of the heirs of Leidesdorff, and by his executors secured
its confirmation in 1855. This grant runs from the Sutter grant up the American
River, which forms its northern boundary; the southern boundary is nearly
parallel to the river and distant there from four to five miles, and includes
Folsom. The land was pretty well taken up by squatters, who were compelled to
buy the title to their possession or vacate. The Natoma Mining and Water Company
hold their title to land in Granite Township under this grant, they having
purchased from the grantee of Folsom, by his executors. The full history of this
grant is given in the chapter on land titles.
The history of Folsom properly includes that of Negro Bar, which was the pioneer
of the former place, and it is more than probable that had it not been for the
fact that there was a mining camp of large proportions at Negro Bar, Folsom
would have been located farther down the American Fork. Negro Bar received its
name from the circumstance of negroes being the first men to do any mining at
that point. This was in 1849. The Bar commences at Folsom, on the same side of
the river, and runs nine-tenths of a mile down stream. Miners came flocking in
from all quarters, and in 1851 there were over seven hundred people here. In the
summer of 1850 the Virginia Mining Company was formed, for draining the river at
this point; this Company 8 was composed of two hundred and forty members, with
John McCormick for President. It took them two years to build the canal,
which was intended to leave the old river- a bed clear for mining. The Company
did not pay very well, but the canal was used for mining the bar, by using" Long
Toms." The Long Island Company was composed of thirty eight men, Robert Reeves,
President. The Tennessee Company, thirty members, William Gwaltney, President.
The Bar was splendid mining ground; and large quantities of gold have been taken
out; there is still some mining going on here now, mostly by Chinamen. Since the
introduction of water here by the Natoma Water and Mining Company, the canal has
not been used.
J. S. Meredith opened the first hotel and store at Negro Bar, both being in the
same building, in April, 1850. William A. Davidson opened the second store, but
was shortly after bought out by A. A. Durfee & Brother. A few months later
Rowley & Richardson opened a. third store. These were the principal business
houses until Folsom was started.
Among some of the physicians living at the Bar at that time were Dr. S. Lyon,
now living in Folsom; Dr. Caldwell, who returned to Tennessee; Dr. Palmer, still
a resident of the State; A. A. Durfee & Brother, both now living in Michigan.
Folsom was laid out by Theodore D. Judah, Richmond Chenery and Samuel O. Bruce,
for Captain J. L. Folsom, in 1855. The lots were then sold on the 17th of
January, 1856, at public auction, in the City of Sacramento, Col. J. B. Starr,
auctioneer. The lots were all sold at this sale. Purchasers commenced building,
and the town grew rapidly. On the 22d day of February following, the Sacramento
Valley Railroad was finished to Folsom, and opened. Free excursion trains were
run from Sacramento to Folsom. There were about one thousand people present,
including Governor Johnson, Judges Murray and Terry, several members of the
Senate and Assembly, ex-Governor Foote and many other prominent persons. A cold
collation, and champagne ad libitum, were supplied gratuitously to the guests.
The speakers of the day were Senator Flint, Col. Zabriskie, Governor Foote,
Governor Johnson, Captain W. T. Sherman, Vice-President of the Company, and
Captain C. K. Garrison, President of the Company.
In the evening a special train was run from Sacramento to Folsom, for the
accommodation of people from Sacramento wishing to attend the ball given in
Folsom that evening. The train left the Third-street depot at 7 :30 P. H., and
arrived at Folsom at 9 P. H. The guests were conveyed by omnibuses in waiting to
the Meredith Hotel, "under the hill." This building was erected expressly for
this occasion, and was thirty feet wide by nearly one hundred feet long, and
presented a brilliant appearance, being brightly illuminated.
The floor managers for the ball were Judge A. O. Munson, H. P. Wakelee, Harvey
Livingstone, Ferris Foreman and George Bromley.
At 10 P. H. the sound of music announced that the dancing had begun, and in a
few moments the floor of the spacious ball-room was alive with flying couples,
clad in every variety of costume, male and female, that fancy might suggest and
money procure, varying from the rough canvas of the miner or the calico of the
shop-girl to the swallowtailed coat of the beau or the low-necked muslin of the
The supper was superb, and, after partaking thereof, dancing was again in order.
At midnight, notice was given that a special train for Sacramento would leave
Folsom at one o'clock A. H., but at that hour no passengers appeared, and it was
not until five o'clock and broad daylight that the excited dancers began to
realize that dancing is hard work after all, and to wonder why it was they were
so tired. We suppose that they found out on the return trip to Sacramento.
Folsom was the terminus of the Sacramento Valley Railroad. A railroad was
projected in 1857 to run from Folsom to Marysville. The Company was formed in
Marysville, and called the California Central Railroad. They built the bridge
across the American River in 1858, and in October, 1861, ran trains into Lincoln.
This road was abandoned about 1866.
The railroad bridge across the American River was commenced on May 31, 1858.
This bridge was on the line of the California Central Railroad, was ninety-two
feet above the water, with a span of two hundred and sixteen feet; cost,
$100,000; and was the only bridge left on the American River by the flood of
1862, caused by the elevation being fifty feet greater than the suspension
bridge. The bridge was condemned in 1866, it having sunk in the center and been
considered unsafe for some time. It was subsequently sold and taken down some
time after 1868.
In 1854 a wooden bridge was built across the American River at Folsom. It was
washed away by high water a few years later.
Thompson & Kinsey then obtained a charter for building a bridge across the
American River at Folsom in 1861.
This was a wire suspension bridge. The flood of 1862 carried this bridge away on
January 10. On March 7, 1862, the work of rebuilding commenced. This is the
present structure; it connects Folsom with Ashland, a little town across the
river, and is called "The Folsom and Ashland Suspension Bridge;" is of the
Halliday Patent; length of span, three hundred and fifty feet between towers;
has two cables, eight-hundred feet long, and four towers; weight of bridge,
seventy-five tons. Kinsey & Whitely were the builders. C. L. Ecklon purchased
the bridge and franchise in 1871. The tolls are: Foot passenger, both ways, ten
cents; team, both ways same day, fifty cents; man on horseback, each way, twelve
and one-half cents. The charter runs for twenty-five years from the 3d of
The Sacramento Valley Railroad built its car and machine shops at Folsom in
1861. The buildings consisted of a brick machine shop, sixty feet wide by one
hundred and ten feet long; a car shop, also, of brick, forty feet wide by eighty
feet long, and foundry; in all, employing about fifty men. The shops were
closed and the machinery moved to Sacramento, December 26, 1869.
During the Washoe excitement, Folsom was the starting point for twenty-one
different stage lines running to the northern mines. In April, 1862, it was made
the terminus of the overland mail route, which had previously been at
Patterson and Waters' Hotel, afterwards the Patterson House, was built in 1856.
Patterson & Waters ran the house for about ten years; they were succeeded by
Charles Watts; he, in turn, by Mrs. H. B. Waddilove, and the last manager was M.
Doll, who was in charge at the time of the fire of 1871.
The Olive Branch was built, in 1856, by Mr. Heaton, who kept the house until it
was burned down.
The Mansion House was built in 1857. J. Holmes was the proprietor; he was
succeeded by L. M. Dennison, who kept the house until the fire, in May, 1864.
The Tremont House was built, in 1860, by Mrs. Lucinda Smart; she sold to Ira
Sanders, who managed the business until 1868; when the house was destroyed by
The Granite Hotel was built, in 1858, by Captain Hughes; he was succeeded by
Martin Wetzlar. The house was burned in 1866.
The Central Hotel was built by George Wellington, in 1859. This house changed
hands several times, until, in the spring of 1879, Mr. Rand, the present
proprietor, assumed the management.
The American Exchange was built in 1875; Mrs. Kate Hamilton is the proprietor.
There never have been but two breweries in Folsom. The first was built by Chris
Heiler, in 1857, and was run for several years by Raber & Heiler. This was
destroyed by fire in 1868.
In 1872, Peter Yager erected a brewery on the foundation of a large store which
was destroyed in the destructive fire of 1870. The building, which is made of
brick, is a substantial structure, and well adapted for the purpose of a
brewery. The dimensions are, thirty feet front on Sutter street, by one hundred
and thirty feet deep, is one story in hight in front, the rear, over the
railroad, being three stories high. There is a brewing room adjoining,
containing kettle, cooler, wash-tub, etc. The cellars extend the entire length of
the building, being as commodious as any in the county. The daily capacity is
about ten barrels, but it has not been taxed that much, the demand not requiring
it. The annual sales have been about four hundred and fifty barrels.
Caners' Flouring Mill was built in 1866, on the corner of Wool street and the
Railroad; the mill was operated about two years, when it was closed. The
building, a three-story brick, was purchased by B. N. Bugbey, and used by him as
a wine cellar, the third floor being rented as a hall to the societies of
Folsom. The building was burned about the year 1871.
Natoma Mills were built by Edward Stockton in June, 1866, using the three-story
brick building formerly occupied by the Wheeler House; the power was taken from
the Natoma ditch, and using two runs of stone; discontinued.
There are in Folsom at present (1880) two hotels, two livery stables, four
grocery stores, three hardware and tin stores, two drug stores, one dry goods
store, one variety store, two lumber yards, one bank, one furniture store, one
wagon and blacksmith shop, four blacksmith shops, one harness shop, one express
office, one bakery, two restaurants, two barber shops, two butcher shops, one
brewery, two shoe shops, one gun store, two jewelers (repairing), one fruit
drying establishment, one distillery and winery, ten saloons.
Folsom is at present the location of the only public school in the township.
There was formerly a school at Prairie City. The first public school was
established in 1857; the first teacher was I. M. Sibley. E. P. Willard, Dr. S.
Palmer and J. S. Meredith were the first trustees. The school has a fine
library. The Folsom Institute was opened in 1857, with Rev. S. V. Blakeslee, A.
M., Principal; Daniel K. Bickford, Miss L. Wakefield and Miss Carrie E. Atwood,
assistants. The Trustees were Francis Clark, A.P. Catlin, Dr. A. C. Donaldson,
Dr. Bradley, C.T.H. Palmer, E. D. Haskins, A. G. Kinsey and S.V. Blakeslee. In
1858 fifteen acres of land in the upper part of Folsom were secured, and
subscriptions were solicited for erecting a building. By August thirty-two
hundred dollars had been subscribed, and a large brick building was erected.
The first term opened with twelve pupils, and the report for 1861 shows a list
of forty students, thirty of whom were then residents of Folsom.
The Institute flourished for several years, but was closed in 1869. Mrs. T. S.
Finchley kept a private primary school at Folsom in 1862. T. C. Stevens opened a
singing school in 1861, in the M.. E. Church; this school was continued for
THE FOLSOM TELEGRAPH.
The Folsom Telegraph is the only paper published in Folsom. It was started, in
1860, under the name of Folsom Weekly Telegraph. On January 1, 1861, the paper
was changed to a semi-weekly, as the Folsom Semi- Weekly Telegraph, C Killmer
and W. M. Penry, publishers and editors; July 16, 1861, C. Killmer and O. D.
Avaline, publishers and editors; and December 3, 1861, O. D. Avaline became sole
proprietor. Avaline died, December 26, 1863; Mrs. Avaline continued the paper,
with P. J. Hopper as editor. On January 2, 1864, the paper was changed to a
weekly, under its present name, Folsom Telegraph.
On April 15, 1865, P. J. Hopper purchased the paper, and became editor and
publisher. Hopper leased the paper, in 1874, to J. F. Howe, and, in December,
1877, sold to W. W. Light, who leased it to Mrs. J. F. Howe, the present editor
and publisher. The politics of the Telegraph were Democratic, until January 1,
1863; from that time to the present they have been Republican.
Folsom has suffered heavily from fires, at different times. May 8, 1866, a fire
burned" Whiskey Row," and a number of buildings on Sutter and Decatur streets,
including the office of the Folsom Telegraph. August 31, 1866, the Hotel de
France and a number of contiguous buildings were burned.
The Folsom Theater was destroyed by fire, June 27, 1871. In 1871, a fire
destroyed all of Chinatown, Patterson's Hotel, and part of Addison's lumber
yard. May 6, 1872, a fire broke out in Smith, Campbell & Jolly's store, and
destroyed all the buildings in the block, with the exception of the office of
the Folsom Telegraph. Among these buildings were Meredith's drug store and
Farmer's blacksmith shop. The loss was about one hundred and thirty thousand
YOUNG AMERICA, NO. 1.
This was a Fire Company, organized in September, 1861. The Company bought a hand
engine, costing eighteen hundred dollars, and displayed some activity for a year
or so, but, the enthusiasm dying out, it was disbanded in 1863.
THE FOLSOM HOOK AND LADDER COMPANY.
This Company was organized March 3, 1857. The first officers were: H. B.
Waddilove, Foreman; Charles Plannett, First Assistant; Frank Wheeler, Second
Assistant; J. M. Arbuckle, Secretary; H. D. Rowley, Treasurer.
The Company owns the building known as Firemen's Hall, located on Sutter street.
Monthly meetings are held here by the Company on the first Wednesday of each
month. The average membership has been about thirty-five; present membership is
The present officers are: M. Doll, Foreman; H. Ehrkey, First Assistant; Samuel
Kay, Second Assistant; J. S. Meredith, Secretary; Jacob Gable, Treasurer; Fred.
Holsinger, Jr., Steward.
The Company has done good service at the fires in Folsom since its organization.
They lost their first building by fire.
GRANITE LODGE, NO. 62, I. o. O. F.
This Lodge was organized September 19, 1856, by David Kendall, D. D. G. M.,
assisted by Brothers C. C. Hayden, Samuel Cross, W. B. H. Dodson, George 1. N.
Monell, G. K. Van Heusen and George Nelson.
The first officers were: J. E. Clark, N. G.; A. Mears, V. G.; W. A. McClure,
Recording Secretary; H. A. Hill, Treamrer. The charter members, in addition to
the above, were S. F. Marquis, A. W. Beals, B. Kozminsky, L. Sampson, J.
Crumbergel', G. B. Harnish, and E. A. Turner.
The present officers are: Samuel P. Boyd, N. G.; R. A. Reed, V. G.; William H.
Nichols, Recording Secretary; John M. Benson, Permanent Secretary; Jacob Hyman,
Treasurer. The greatest number of members at any one time was ninety; the present
membership is fifty-six. The value of property belonging to the Lodge is about
$2,000, consisting of money in bank, furniture in hall, regalia and cemetery
lots. The financial condition is good. The amount disbursed in benefits,
charities, etc., is over $16,000. Weekly meetings, Saturday nights, at Odd
FOLSOM ENCAMPMENT NO. 24, I. o. O. F.
This Encampment was formed June 28, 1864, with A. C. Davis, Edward Christy, S.
Zekind, S. M. Seely, John Eoff, John H, Seymour and E. O. Dana as charter
members. Edward Christy, P. C, P., is still an active member.
The present officers are: John M. Benson, C. P.; John Lawton, H. P.; Jacob
Gable, S. W.; James H. Williamson, J. W.; William H. Nichols, Scribe; E. R.
Levy, Treasurer. The greatest membership at anyone time was thirty; there are
twenty-seven members at present. The value of the property belonging to the
Encampment is $700. The financial condition is good. About three thousand
dollars have been disbursed in benefits. Meetings on the second and fourth
Tuesdays of each month.
NATOMA LODGE, NO. 64, F. AND A. M.
This Lodge was organized in October, 1854, with M. Wallace, A. Spinks, A. O.
Carr, L. Bates, G. W. Coreyey, S. Logan, H. A. Holcomb, D. McCall, B. H. Conroy,
J. H. Berry, W. Sheldon, C. S. Bogar, W. K. Spencer, D. M. K. Campbell, J. Clark
and M. Hatch, as charter members, of whom A. Spinks is the only active member.
The first officers were: M. Wallace, W. M.; L. Bates, S. W.; A. O. Carr, J. W.
The records of the Lodge were destroyed by fire in 1871, and we have been unable
to obtain the full list of first officers.
The present officers are: J. H. Burnham, W. M.; C. L. Ecklon, S. W.; M. Doll, J.
W.; J. H. Smith, Treasurer; W. W. Sheldon, Secretary; Edward Christy, S. D.; C.
O. Spaulding, J. D.; H. Holsinger, Tyler. There are fifty members at present,
which is the greatest number that the Lodge has ever had. The value of the
property is about three thousand dollars. The financial condition is good. About
seven thousand dollars have been disbursed in benefits.
FOLSOM DIVISION, NO. 278, S. OF T.
This Lodge meets Monday evenings, and was organized October 6, 1878, with J. C.
Fischer, W. B. Waldron, J. E. Blanchard, Mrs. Hastings, Mrs. Salsberry, Anson
Fischer, Mrs. Currier, B. N. Bugbey, Miss Bugbey, Miss Ettie Sturges, Miss Annie
Fischer and Mr. Hicks, who were also the first officers. Of this number, J. C.
Fischer, W. B. Waldron, J. E. Blanchard, Mrs. Hastings, Miss Annie Fischer, Miss
Minnie G. Fischer, Mrs. Currier and Mr. Hicks are still active members.
The present officers are: J. E. Blanchard, W. P.; Mrs. H. L. Hastings, W. A.; W.
B. Waldron, P. W. P.; Miss Minnie G. Fischer, R. S.; C. E. Burnham, A. R. S.; I.
Fiele, F. S.; Mr. Foster, Treasurer; Mrs. A. Hastings, Chaplain; Willie H.
Lewis, Conductor; Edith C. Smith, A.C.; Mary Burke, I.S.; Jacob Bales, O.S.
There are at present forty members belonging to the Lodge, the greatest number
having been forty-five. The value of the Lodge property is estimated at forty
dollars. The financial condition of the Lodge is good.
The first religious services were held in the Hook and Ladder Company's hall in
1856 by the Rev. Dr. Hatch, an Episcopal divine, of Sacramento. About this time
Father Quinn, of the Catholic Church, held service at the house of P. J. O'Neil,
about two miles from Folsom.
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH (CATHOLIC).
This church was organized in 1856. The church edifice was erected in 1857; in
the meantime the society held its meetings in the Clarken College, Rev. Father
Quinn, pastor. The original cost of the building was sixteen hundred dollars. It
was enlarged in 1859 at an additional outlay of nine hundred dollars. The
successive pastors were the Rev. John Quinn, now deceased; Rev. Father James
Gallagher, now in San Francisco; Rev. Father Neal Gallagher, deceased; Rev.
Father Francis Kelley, deceased, and Rev. Father John Leahy, the present pastor.
This church has the largest membership of any, outside of Sacramento City, in
the county. The Sunday school is in flourishing condition and there is a large
attendance of scholars.
TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
This church was organized J u1y 18, 1862; the church building was erected the
same year, at a cost of about four thousand dollars, and is a fine frame
structure. The first officers were: Vestrymen, Wm. Timson, H. B. Waddilove, J.
S. Meredith, Dr. A. C. Donaldson and George Bromley; Senior Warden, Dr. A. C.
Donaldson; Junior Warden, Wm. Moore; Clerk of the Parish, J. S. Meredith.
The present officers are: Vestrymen, Warren Luscomb, B. F. Bates; Vestry, Mrs.
Charles Jolly, Mrs. Jane S. Bates, Mrs. J. H. Smith; Senior Warden, Warren
Luscomb; Junior Warden, William Farmer; Clerk of the Parish, J. S. Meredith. The
first Rector was Rev. Thomas A. Hyland, now in Astoria, Oregon; his successors
to date are Rev. Dr. Lee, Rev. Dr. Arthur E. Hill, Rev. Dr. David J. Lee, Rev.
Dr. A. A. McAlister, Rev. Dr. Thomas Smith. The society has no resident minister
at present. Services are held about once a month.
The church building is in good repair. The largest membership was in 1864, when
there were one hundred and twenty members. The present number is about twenty.
Mrs. Jane S. Bates is superintendent of the Sunday school, which numbers
This church was organized in 1860; a church building of brick, thirty-six by
sixty feet in size, was erected the same year. J. E. Benton, now residing in
Oakland, was the first pastor. This society has had no pastor or services for
some years, and as a society has practically ceased to exist.
For a number of years the trade in cobble stones, which were gathered along the
American River, was very large. This district supplied the great bulk of the
paving stones for San Francisco. Prior to the completion of the Sacramento
Valley Railroad, the stones were loaded into scows and taken to Sacramento, and
there transferred to schooners for the Bay. In 1856, a man named White engaged
largely in the shipment of paving stones.
At Texas Hill, near Folsom, the firm of Everett & Pardessus carried on the
business during 1859 and 1860, when Everett retired, the price of cobbles having
fallen to seventy five cents a ton.
In 1862, Pardessus fell from a wagon, and received injuries which caused his
In 1863, the cobble pits at Texas Hill became the property of the Sacramento
Valley Railroad Company, which corporation laid a branch track, leading directly
to the pits, thereby greatly facilitating the shipment of the rock. Millions of
tons of cobbles have been shipped from Folsom and vicinity, much the greater
part of which has gone to San Francisco. The demand for cobble stones, for the
past ten years, has not been large, owing to the introduction of the wooden and
other pavements in the City of San Francisco.
This place is located two miles south of Folsom, in Granite township, on the
hills on or near Alder Creek. Mining commenced here in 1853, on the completion
of the Natoma Water and Mining Company's ditch to this point. The water reached
Rhodes' Diggings, about one mile farther up the creek, early in June, 1853. The
miners came flocking in from all directions, and Prairie City began to assume
the importance of a city, in fact, as well as in name. This was the business
town for several mining camps, Rhodes Diggings, Willow Springs Bill Diggings,
Alder Creek. Rhodes' Diggings laid some pretentions to having a town of its own;
John H. Gass and Colonel Z. Hagan built a steam quartz mill in 1855, and a
French company built a large quartz mill in 1857, costing fifty thousand
dollars; this mill paid wonderfully well for a time, and the stock could not be
purchased for any reasonable price; this, however, did not last long; the stock
ceased to pay dividends, went down, and finally became worthless.
At Prairie City, in 1853, Jesse Dresser, E. A. Platt, Eisner J. Campan, -
Rosenthal, and - Meers, kept stores; Dr. Rutherford, a drug store; Dr. White;
"Marble Hall Hotel," kept by Michael Conothy. In 1854, J. & J. Spruance opened
a store here, the largest in town. Elisha Waterman, carpenter and builder,
erected most of the buildings. In July, 1853, the town contained about one
hundred buildings, fifteen stores, ten boarding houses and hotels, and about
thirty families; emigrants arriving daily; two lines of stages running daily.
Early in 1854 the inhabitants numbered over one thousand, and the miners were
reported as doing well, making from five to twenty dollars per diem; in one
case, three men are reported to have taken out eighty-five ounces in one day.
The town began to die out in 1860, and now has a school building. and one cabin,
where some miners live.
There is some mining going on the whole length of Alder Creek. This region has
been mined for some twenty years, and is still paying very well.
WILLOW SPRINGS HILL DIGGINGS.
These diggings were on the hill or ridge between Alder and Willow Creeks; this
hill was about a mile long. Mining commenced along Willow Creek as early as
1851; when the gulches were worked back to the ridge, it was found that the dirt
still continued good pay, and claims were continued on the hill. Most of the
milling was done on the north side of the ridge, there being a better flow of
water there; by this time, 1853, the Natoma Ditch was furnishing water at this
point. In the palmy days of this region there were twelve companies or claims,
employing sixty men. It is not known what amount of gold has been taken out of
this region, comprising about two thousand acres, but it is estimated to have
been millions of dollars, the eastern end of Willow Springs Hill being
extraordinarily rich. Carrigan Brothers and Patrick Donevan are still working
This was a mining camp just below Negro Bar, on the American River, and
extensive operations were carried on there until 1855, under the superintendence
of John A. Watson, now the purchasing agent of the Central Pacific Railroad
This Bar was named after Jerry Beam. It is situated one half mile below Alabama
Bar, on the south side of the American River. The Bar was first worked in the
summer of 1849 by what was called Beam's Company, which consisted of twelve men.
The Bar, as mined by Beam's Company, did not include any part of the river bed,
which was under water in summer time. This Bar was wonderfully rich until worked
out. The men of Beam's Company considered they had had a poor day if the result
was less than a pound of gold per man. Beam's Company sold out to Rolands in
1850 for twenty pounds of gold. Rolands formed a Company, also of twelve men,
called the Beam's Bar Mining Company. They worked the Bar out, and obtained a
little less than the purchase price for the claim. They then turned the stream
and mined the river bed. This they continued each year during the summer up to
and including 1857. Several times since 1857 parties have attempted to work this
Bar, with indifferent results. In 1863 Alfred Spinks, one of the original
members of the Beam's Bar Mining Company, took a force of one hundred and twenty
Chinamen to the Bar and went to the bed-rock, which he found at a depth of about
sixty feet. The result was not at all commensurate with the amount of labor
expended, Mr. Spinks making little more than his expenses. He leased it the
following year to Chinamen. This, as far as we can learn, is the last work that
has been done at this point. In the early summer of 1852, a fight occurred for
the possession of this claim, caused by an attempt to jump the claim by a party
of fourteen men, headed by a man named Schofield. This party claimed a right to
the ground under previous location, but, from the final settlement, it is
doubtful if they ever had such a right. The men of the Beam's Bar Company were
waiting in their camp, on the bank of the river, for the water to go down. They
had noticed that there was a large camp of men about one-quarter of a mile from
them, but thought nothing of it, till one morning, about daybreak, while they
were getting their breakfast, the Schofield party appeared in full force with
their shovels, wheelbarrrows and other mining implements, and descended the bank
to the claim, and took possession thereof. One of Beam's Bar Company by the name
of Johnson went down, and informed them that the claim belonged to them, the
Beam's Bar Company, and that, so far from having vacated it, they were only
waiting for the water to subside sufficiently to allow effective work. Schofield
inquired, "Is that all?" On being answered “yes," he turned to his party and
said, "Go to work, boys."
About this time the Beam's Bar Company jumped in and began work also. A lively
skirmish ensued, in which spades, shovels and. knives were freely used, not a
shot being fired. The Schofield party retired badly demoralized, a brother of
the head of the party having been nearly scalped by a blow from the edge of a
spade, which finally resulted in his death, some eighteen months later. The
party then went to Negro Bar, where the Justice of that region was wont to
dispense justice and liquors over the same bar, and entered a complaint against
the Beam's Bar Company. The Justice issued a summons to the members of the
company to appear and show cause, etc. This summons was duly served, and the
return brought to the Justice informed him that if he wished to try them he must
come to Beam's Bar. This he declined to do, stating that all the gold in
California would not tempt him to do so, but promised a fair trial at Negro Bar.
The matter was finally compromised by the Beam's Bar Company paying each man of
the Schofield party one hundred dollars, with the understanding that one half of
the whole amount should be paid to the injured man.
In the summer of 1879 a man leased from the Natoma Company all the land lying
between Folsom and Alder Creek north of the railroad. The old miners had dug
down to what they considered bed-rock and then, stopped. This party bored
through this crust, and found good paying gravel underneath. The crust was
composed of what appeared to have been black slime or deposit at the bottom of a
lake, solidified; it was full of shells. This formation is supposed to be quite
extensive, and, if so, will open a new mining industry in this region.
THE NATOMA WATER AND MINING COMPANY.
This Company, at present the largest owner of water rights in the county, was
organized in 1851. A. P. Catlin, now living at Sacramento, was the originator of
the enterprise. Associated with him were Judge Thomas, H. Williams, Craig and
Berry, William Jarvis, now at Folsom, John Bennett and Henry Robinson, then and
now living at San Francisco. The main canal was commenced in 1851, taking its
water from a point on the south Fork of the American River, two miles above
Salmon Falls. The length of the main canal is about twenty miles; the length of
the branches for irrigation, etc., we have not been able to learn.
The cost of the canal, branches and reservoirs to date amounts to about one
hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. The canal, from its commencement,
runs through a mining country that, without the water furnished by this ditch,
would. be comparatively valueless. The canal runs through Natoma Township, which
it reached in 1852; in 1853 the ditch was finished to Prairie City, and reached
Folsom in 1854. the Company was formed into a joint stock corporation in July,
The first permanent officers regularly elected were A. P. Catlin, President; S.
R. Caldwell, Vice President; A. T. Arrowsmith, Secretary; T. L. Craig,
Treasurer. Directors -- G. W. Colby, H. Hollister, F. S. Mumford, T. H. Berry,
F. Clark and E. Crowe.
In 1857 the Company purchased from Charles Nystrom eight thousand six hundred
and fifty-four and eight one hundredths acres of land, including all the lands,
granite quarries and water privileges from below Alder Creek to the east line of
the grant. Nystrom purchased from the executors of the estate of Folsom, who
bought the whole Leidesdorft' Grant of the heirs.
Of this amount about two-thirds are mineral, and one-third agricultural land,
and constitutes what might be called the north half of Granite Township, though
not quite one-half the area of the township.
The Company also owns seventy-three acres of land on the north bank of the
American River, purchased from Ed Dana. All the land, both mineral and
agricultural, belonging to the Company, is leased to different parties, the
Company receiving its percentage in water rates; where parties do not use water
they are taxed three dollars per man each month. The systems of mining employed
are drifting and hydraulic. The number of men employed by the Company varies
from eighty to two hundred. The pay of a foreman is three dollars per day; white
man, two dollars; Chinaman, one dollar. The ditch is at present in good repair
throughout. The present officers are: John H. Redington, President; Charles E.
Livermore, Vice-President; H. P. Livermore Secretary and Treasurer; Wm. P.
Redington, George Pelington; H. P: Livermore, General Superintendent and