Downieville in Sierra County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Joseph Zumwalt, who arrived here in 1850 and mined an area later known as Zumwalt Flat, brought with him the secrets of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus and founded its first chapter.
When Sierra County was established in 1852 Downieville was named County Seat. It also received 10 less votes than Sacramento in its bid to be the state capitol.
Gold was everywhere. A housewife discovered $500 worth when she swept the earthen floor of her kitchen. The earliest and richest mines were Sailor Ravine, Blue Banks opposite Zumwalt Flat, Tin Cup Diggins at the forks of the two rivers in town, and the gravels of Durgen Flat. One of the earliest Lode
One of the most often told tales of the Gold Rush was the hanging of Juanita, hanged for stabbing John Crow after the Fourth of July celebration in 1851.
Erected 1987 by Downie Chapter No. 1848, E Clampus Vitus.
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
Location. 39° 33.628′ N, 120° 49.661′ W. Marker is in Downieville, California, in Sierra County. Marker is on Main Street east of Commercial Street (California Highway 49), on the left when traveling east. Click for map. The marker is located at the small area known as Clamper Park, next to the Mountain Messenger-Mackerman & Company Building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 Main Street, Downieville CA 95936, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mackerman & Company Building (here, next to this marker); St. Charles Hotel (a few steps from this marker); The Shooting of Thaddeus Purdy (within shouting distance of this marker); Downieville Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); Arrastra Craycroft Building (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memory of Juanita (within shouting distance of this marker); Downieville Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Downieville.
Regarding Downieville. The town was named after Major William Downie, who is said to have offered to throw a pan of gold dust in the street if the town was named after him.
Additional views of buildings and street scenes can be seen on nearby Downieville marker pages.
Also see . . . Downieville. An informative article on the history of Downieville. (Submitted on June 29, 2011.)
1. Downieville, 1849
From the Sierra Democrat, April 1858:
"This spot where the town stands was then the handsomest I have ever seen in the mountains. Long willows waved on the banks of the North Fork, small pine and spruce trees stood in beautiful groups where the saloons now stand; the hillsides were covered with pretty oaks, stretching out their strong
William Downie - Personal Reminiscences of 1849.
Source: Downieville Walking Tour Brochure - Downieville Museum.
— Submitted June 29, 2011.
Additional keywords. Gold Rush
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 590 times since then and 94 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. 11, 12. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.