Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Volcano in Amador County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Astronomical Observatory

 
 
Astronomical Observatory Marker image. Click for full size.
March 29, 2008
1. Astronomical Observatory Marker
Inscription. Here in Volcano in 1860, miner and amateur astronomer George Madeira built California's first astronomical observatory of record and operated it for two years. Using a three inch refractory telescope he studied sun and moon, stars and planets, and other glories of the heavens, including the great comet of 1861.

Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the Astronomical Societies of Stockton and Sacramento. Plaque first placed in 1968. Revised and relocated in 2004.
 
Erected 2006 by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the Stockton and Sacramento Astronomical Societies. (Marker Number 715.)
 
Location. 38° 26.568′ N, 120° 37.88′ W. Marker is in Volcano, California, in Amador County. Marker is at the intersection of Consolation Street and Main Street, on the right when traveling north on Consolation Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Volcano CA 95689, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Volcano (a few steps from this marker); Soldier Gulch (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Volcano
Astronomical Observatory Marker image. Click for full size.
March 29, 2008
2. Astronomical Observatory Marker
Located to the right in this picture, next to the Old Abe cannon in the little shed next to the Adams Express building.
(a few steps from this marker); The Thomas Starr King Bell (within shouting distance of this marker); Union Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Carlo Andrea Dondero (within shouting distance of this marker); General Store (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Old Bavarian Brewery (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Volcano.
 
More about this marker. This site was designated a California Registered Historical Landmark (No. 715) on October 6, 1959.

Note the marker states it was first placed in 1968, then was revised and relocated in 2004. It was actually dedicated in January 2006.

This marker replaces one originally located on Shake Ridge Road, about one mile west of Rams Horn Grade, outside Volcano (about four miles by car from this location). That marker was inscribed, "On the knoll behind this marker, George Madiera built the first amateur astronomical observatory of record in California and there discovered the great comet of 1861 with a three-inch refractor telescope." The original marker was placed by the State Department
Observatory Hill image. Click for more information.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 11, 2011
3. Observatory Hill
Observatory Hill was the original location to the first Astronomical Observatory marker (see text above).The original base and the outline of the marker can be seen in this picture. Observatory Hill is located at approximately 20600 Gopher Flat Road, between MP 11.5 and 12.0.
Click for more information.
of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the Stockton and Sacramento Astronomical Societies on November 17, 1968.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. The original marker, placed in 1968.
 
Also see . . .  Dedication of Volcano Astronomical Observatory Marker January 21, 2006. Amador Astronomical Society web site. (Submitted on September 11, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 22, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 11, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,711 times since then and 95 times this year. Last updated on December 21, 2016, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 11, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   3. submitted on July 4, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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