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

James Wood Coffroth

James Wood Coffroth Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 26, 2008
1. James Wood Coffroth Marker
Inscription. Here on November 29, 1858, was held the celebration in honor of the completion of the Columbia and Stanislaus River Water Company's ditch, which brought water from the north fork of the Stanislaus River to Columbia. James Wood Coffroth, attorney, journalist, legislator, and orator, and widely known as "Tuolumne's Favorite Son," was the speaker of the day.

Plaque placed by the California Historical Society in cooperation with the California State Park Commission, 1955.
Erected 1955 by California Historical Society and the California State Park Commission.
Location. 38° 2.18′ N, 120° 24.129′ W. Marker is in Columbia, California, in Tuolumne County. Marker is on Jackson Street near Gold Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Columbia CA 95310, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Water, Precious as Gold (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bixel Brewery (about 500 feet away); Claverie Building (about 500 feet away); Wilson/McConnell House (about 600 feet away); The Burns Cottage
James Wood Coffroth Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 20, 2009
2. James Wood Coffroth Marker - Wide View
(about 600 feet away); A Bountiful Place to Live (about 700 feet away); A Cosmopolitan Society (about 700 feet away); Prosper Rocher Brewery (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Columbia.
More about this marker. The marker is mounted to one of the rocks at the base of the pole holding the street signs for Gold and Jackson Streets, and is across the street from the Columbia First Presbyterian Church.
Regarding James Wood Coffroth.

The Columbia and Stanislaus River Water Company (CSRWC) was formed by discgruntled miners, in part at least, as a reaction to the monopolistic pricing of the Tuolumne County Water Company (TCWC), as cheap and copious water was necessary for both placer and hydraulic mining. The CSRWC's success was short-lived, however, as in 1860 it was bought out by the TCWC in a sale forced by the CSRWC's creditors.

In Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush, Susan Lee Johnson decribes the celebration mentioned on the marker, "...On November 29, 1858, the CSRWC faithful and their friends gathered in a grand procession that wended its way through town, with brass bands, military and fire companies, carriages carrying company officials and town dignitaries, as well as hundreds and hundreds of men on foot - among them, those who helped dig the "Miner's Ditch." Many carried banners....Some men marched under the banner of a "Miner's Union"....Finally all assembled in the center of town, where James Coffroth held forth to the teeming crowd on the history of the CSWRC. A free public dinner followed and then, to end the day, a spectacular fireworks display and an elaborate ball."
Also see . . .  James Coffroth's New York Time's Obituary, October 18, 1872. Honorable James W. Coffroth died in Sacramento on the morning of the 9th inst., of hemorrhage of the lungs. The sad event occurred suddenly, while he was at breakfast, and was of course wholly unexpected, as up to that moment he had appeared to be in the best of health. He was a native of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and went to Sonora, Tuolumne County, California, about 1850, when quite a boy. He was a printer by trade, and worked for a while in the old Sonora Herald office, under the administration of Dr. Gunn. In 1852 he was elected to the Assembly from that county, subsequently to the Senate, and from that time was a conspicuous and influential leader of the Democratic Party. Mr. Coffroth possessed the elements of popularity to a wonderful degree; few men had so many personal friends, and perhaps no member of his party exerted a greater influence in directing its affairs. He became one of the ablest and most successful lawyers in his district, and his practice extended to all parts of the State of California in important suits. (Submitted on December 20, 2009.) 
Additional keywords. gold mining hydraulic
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Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 691 times since then and 65 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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