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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Washington in Nevada County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The History of This Area

 
 
The History of This Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2011
1. The History of This Area Marker
Inscription.
The Native People
The cultural history of people inhabiting the western slope of the Sierras spans a period of at least 3,500 years. It is known that the Nisenan, a Native California tribe, occupied the geographic region between the Sierra Buttes, those rugged peaks outlined on the horizon, and the Consumnes River drainage to the south. As experienced hunters and gatherers, the Nisenan possessed considerable knowledge of the plants and animals of the region and utilized this information to acquire food during the summer-spring portion of their annual subsistence round. The life of the Nisenan remained unchanged until the mid-1800ís arrival of people from the eastern portion of the country, Europe and Asia.

The Immigrants
The first major entry of immigrants into the region occurred in 1849 when a company of men from Indiana decided to winter over on a small flat on the south bank of the South Yuba River which was given the name of “Indiana Camp.” The discovery of gold at this location insured the permanence of this camp which was renamed Washington as a patriotic gesture on the part of its citizenry on July 4, 1850. As mining operations expanded, the region became known as the Washington Mining District, and the landscape began to change as water conveyance systems were constructed.
The Washington Ridge Overlook image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2011
2. The Washington Ridge Overlook
New mining camps sprang up bearing such names as Jefferson, Gaston, Maybert, Omega and Alpha. Timber was cut to provide lumber for the mines and associated buildings.

Transportation
The need for adequate transportation facilities surfaced quickly as the population of the region grew and the demand for supplies and services increased. Evidence of the various types of transportation employed in satisfaction of this need is still visible. Highway 20 still winds its way along Washington Ridge and closely follows the route of the Nevada and Washington Toll Road. An important way station associated with this road, the Junction House, was located to the east of this vista point. The harvesting of timber spawned the construction of the Towle Brothers Narrow Gauge Railroad whose tracks provided access to large stands of timber in the Yuba and Bear River drainages
 
Erected by National Forest Service, Tahoe National Forest.
 
Location. 39° 19.064′ N, 120° 48.955′ W. Marker is near Washington, California, in Nevada County. Marker is on State Highway 20, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 28536 California 20, Washington CA 95986, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this
Inset on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
3. Inset on Marker
Dunning Sticks
Used by the Nisenan, these were tossed into a debtorís house by the creditor as a reminder that the debt should soon be paid. Generally about four inches long, they were of wood, whittled and painted with red and black pigments, and tied with milkweed fiber string.
marker, measured as the crow flies. Emigrant Trail to Nevada City (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Washington (approx. 2.9 miles away); Washington Elementary School (approx. 2.9 miles away); Brimskill Building (approx. 3 miles away); a different marker also named Washington (approx. 3 miles away); Kohler Building (approx. 3 miles away); Alpha and Omega (approx. 3.4 miles away); Ormonde (approx. 4.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Washington.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Washington Ridge Overlook. It is found on the top of the stone retaining wall along with three additional informational markers. The subjects of these markers are: Geology of This Area, Flora and Fauna of the Forest Environment and National Forest Landscape Management.
 
Categories. Horticulture & ForestryNative AmericansRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
 
Detail from the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2011
4. Detail from the Marker
Washington, California, circa 1900 with a view to the southeast. The Chinese community is located in the right foreground. The community church located in the center of this picture was originally built by the Catholic Church. Unlike most mining towns, Washington has never had the misfortune to be destroyed by fire.
Detail from this Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2011
5. Detail from this Marker
Resting the stage coach horses on the Washington Grade.
The Geology of This Area image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2011
6. The Geology of This Area
Click on this image to enlarge it.
Flora and Fauna of the Forest Environment image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2011
7. Flora and Fauna of the Forest Environment
Click on this image to enlarge it.
National Forest Landscape Management image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2011
8. National Forest Landscape Management
Click on this image to enlarge it.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 560 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Scenic View of the Sierra Buttes. • Can you help?
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