Angels Camp

"Home of the Jumping Frog"

After hearing stories of rich gold fields in the Sierra Nevada while in Monterey, Henry Angell joined the Carson-Robinson party and made the trek to the mines. After reaching what is now called Angels Creek in September 1848, the party went their separate ways. Angell stayed and began placer mining in the area, but found much hard work with little payout. After finally giving up, he opened Angell's Trading Post. His business thrived as supplies were sold and more miners were attracted to the area, and soon a camp with more than one hundred tents developed; this soon became known as just Angels Camp.

Angell sold his trading post in 1849 to John C. Scribner, who replaced the original canvas tent with a wooden store building. As rich placer discoveries were made, prospectors rushed to Angels Camp and before the year was done thousands of miners lived and worked in the gulch. Unfortunately, the placers didn't last and the camp soon began to decline. Only after gold-bearing quartz was found underground did Angels Camp begin its real boom.

After the discovery of the aforementioned quartz vein in the mid-1850s, Angels Camp developed into a real town. It experienced its first major fire in 1855, early in its life, and fire-proof buildings were soon erected to replace many that had been canvas and wood before. Many that were rebuilt of wood were again claimed by fire the following year.

Perhaps Angels Camp's greatest claim to fame is as the location of the famed "Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". Samuel Clemens, better known by the alias Mark Twain, frequently visited Angels Camp while staying at Jackass Hill. On February 20, 1865, Twain was told a story about a man and his jumping frog by Angels Hotel bartender Ben Coon. Twain embellished the story, and had it published later that year. Even today, Angels Camp celebrates that claim to fame by hosting the annual Jumping Frog Jubilee at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds.

See Also
AltavilleAlbany Flat (Romaggi Adobe)