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

Summer Retreat

Summer Retreat Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 20, 2011
1. Summer Retreat Marker
Click on photo to view a sketch of the Cables' Summer Home cabin.
Inscription. In 1849 Mary Jane Walker Caples, along with her brother, husband James, and baby daughter Isabella, traveled overland by wagon to the gold fields of California. The Caples went to “Hangtown,” (Placerville,CA) to seek their fortune. James became ill in the cold damp conditions, forcing Mary Jane to support the family for awhile. She baked pies in two Dutch ovens to sell to the miners. She charged $1.00 per pie and sold as many as 100 pies in one day. When the gold fever passed, the family settled in the Sacramento Valley to raise cattle.

On the journey west in 1849, the Caples spent one night at “Summit Lake” before crossing the Second Summit into California – the First Summit being what we now call Carson Pass. Mary Jane and James remembered how beautiful Summit Lake Valley was and not long after settling in the Sacramento Valley they decided to return to Summit Lake to make their summer home for 30 years. We now call Summit Lake, Caples Lake.

In the summer of 1864, tragedy took their two-year-old infant son. Harry was buried at the edge of Summit Lake (now about 100 yards out into the water). The grave of little Harry was moved to higher ground when Pacific Gas and Electric dammed Caples Creek in 1922.
Erected by National Park Service, California
Summer Retreat Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 20, 2011
2. Summer Retreat Marker
National Historic Trail - National Trails System, Oregon – California Trails Assoc. CA/NV Chapter.
Location. 38° 42.303′ N, 120° 2.612′ W. Marker is near Kirkwood, California, in Alpine County. Marker is on California 88, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. This marker is located at the Caples Lake boat launch just off of California 88. Marker is in this post office area: Kirkwood CA 95646, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Caples Lake (approx. 0.6 miles away); Kirkwood's (approx. 1.6 miles away); Naming of Carson Pass (approx. 3.1 miles away); Snowshoe Thom(p)son (approx. 3.1 miles away); Kit Carson (approx. 3.1 miles away); Memorial to Pioneer Odd Fellows (approx. 3.2 miles away); First Summit (approx. 3.2 miles away); Plasse’s Trading Post (approx. 6˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kirkwood.
Additional keywords. California Gold Rush
Categories. Natural Features
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 24, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 744 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 25, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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