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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lee Vining in Mono County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Dog Town

1857

 
 
Dog Town Marker image. Click for full size.
August 22, 2008
1. Dog Town Marker
Inscription. [Main Marker]:
Site of the first major gold rush to California’s eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, Dog Town derived its name from a popular miners’ term for camps with huts or hovels. Ruins, lying close to the cliff bordering Dog Town Creek are all that remain of the makeshift dwellings which here formed part of “diggins”.

[Supporting Marker to the Left of the Main Marker]:
Boom and Bust
Boom and Bust “Here today, gone tomorrow” describes many early mining towns – Dogtown was no exception. Miners rushed to the eastern Sierra when gold was discovered in the waters of Dog Creek in the 1850s. The largest nugget ever found on the eastern slope was said to have come from here. Despite the hopeful start, these gold deposits were not very extensive and within a couple of years “placer excitement” shifted to Monoville, a new strike just a few miles south of here.

Many hopeful parties have tried to make a go of the remaining placer deposits. In the late 1860’s and early 1870’s, Chinese families occupied stone huts, planted gardens, and lived off what little gold they could find. As late as the early 1900’s, an unproductive dredging operation was in place.

Though never very profitable, Dogtown was significant as the first placer
Boom and Bust </b>(Supporting Marker to the Left of the Main Marker) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, August 22, 2008
2. Boom and Bust (Supporting Marker to the Left of the Main Marker)
settlement on the eastern slope of the Sierra, bringing attention to more profitable areas such as Bodie, Aurora, Masonic, and Virginia City. In some areas, mining continues today, adding to the wealth of gold and silver found in these lonely hills.

[Supporting Marker to the Right of the Main Marker]:
Edge of a Dream
Under favorable circumstances it snows at least once every single month of the year in the little town of Mono. So uncertain is the climate in summer that a lady that goes out visiting cannot hope to be prepared for all emergencies unless she takes her fan under one arm and her snowshoes under the other.
Mark Twain

Visions of "streets paved with gold" lured many fortune hunters to the Sierra Nevada during the mid to late 1800s. Thousands of gold seekers roamed the hills braving the elements. Life was challenging. Bitter winter winds dropped temperatures well below zero and snowfall was often several feet deep. "Homes" with little or no insulation neither kept the wind out, nor the warmth in. Shortages of provisions, difficult travel conditions, illness, and isolations were some of the many challenges faced by these hardy prospectors and pioneers. Most of the men and women were financially unsuccessful - a lucky few actually reached their dreams.

[Both supporting markers include an
Edge of a Dream - </b>(Supporting Marker to the Right of the Main Marker) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, August 22, 2008
3. Edge of a Dream - (Supporting Marker to the Right of the Main Marker)
Eastern Sierra Scenic Byways emblem]

 
Erected 1964 by the California State Park Commission in cooperation with the Mono County Department of Parks and Recreation and the Mono County Historical Society, September 11, 1964. (Marker Number 792.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the California Historical Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 38° 10.219′ N, 119° 11.635′ W. Marker is in Lee Vining, California, in Mono County. Marker is on U.S. 395, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lee Vining CA 93541, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Little Bodie (approx. 1.5 miles away); Dynamo Plant and Pond (approx. 2.2 miles away); Poor Farm (approx. 2.3 miles away); "Bridgeport Inn" (approx. 6.2 miles away); Frontier Justice (approx. 6.2 miles away); Mono County Court House (approx. 6.2 miles away); "The Irwin" (approx. 6.2 miles away); First Bridgeport Courthouse (approx. 6.2 miles away).
 
More about this marker. This is a California Registered Historical Landmark (No. 792).
 
Also see . . .  Dead Dog in the Middle of the Road
Dog Town Marker - Wide Shot with Supporting Markers (south view) image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, August 22, 2008
4. Dog Town Marker - Wide Shot with Supporting Markers (south view)
. David A. Wright's essay on Dogtown (Submitted on September 17, 2008.) 
 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
 
The remains of Dogtown image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, August 22, 2008
5. The remains of Dogtown
Blending in with the background to the point of near-invisibility, the remains of two stone huts are visible in the center of this picture. (Taken from across Virginia Creek with a telephoto lense.)
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,322 times since then and 26 times this year. Last updated on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. Photos:   1. submitted on .   2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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