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

Calaveras Telephone

 
 
Calaveras Telephone Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 7, 2009
1. Calaveras Telephone Marker
Inscription. Present site of one of the last family-founded and-still-operated-by-that-family phone companies in America. Founded by Jim Tower, who strung his first telephone wires in 1895 tacked along posts of barb wire fences, earning himself the colorful nickname, “Barbed Wire Jim.” In 1900, Jim was franchised with Alexander Graham Bell to do business with the Bell system.

Barb Wire Jim was born in nearby Salt Springs Valley in 1879, having been midwifed by Madame Felix herself. In 1909, Jim married one of his operators, Laura Hazelquist. Barb Wire Jim died in 1936. His wife ran the company until she was succeeded by their only child, Howard. The company is now run by Barb Wire Jimís grandson, also Jim, but not “Barb Wire.”
 
Erected 1999 by Matuca Chapter No.1849, E Clampus Vitus.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 37° 58.702′ N, 120° 38.302′ W. Marker is in Copperopolis, California, in Calaveras County. Marker is on Main Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 513 Main Street, Copperopolis CA 95228, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance
Calaveras Telephone Marker and Current Site of the Phone Company Office image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 7, 2009
2. Calaveras Telephone Marker and Current Site of the Phone Company Office
of this marker. Copperopolis (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Corner Saloon (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Copperopolis (about 500 feet away); Congregational Church (about 500 feet away); Copperopolis Historical Plaza (approx. 0.2 miles away); Copperopolis Armory (approx. ľ mile away); Thomas McCarty (approx. ľ mile away); Copperopolis Cemetery (approx. ľ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Copperopolis.
 
Also see . . .  A Short History of the Calaveras Telephone Company. (Submitted on June 9, 2009.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Madam Felix
Josephine Felix was a rancher and way station operator, offering travelers in the area a place to rest and get supplies. Josephine also performed the duties of midwife for birthing mothers.
    — Submitted June 8, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.

 
Categories. CommunicationsIndustry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 9, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 8, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,388 times since then and 64 times this year. Last updated on July 30, 2012, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. Photos:   1. submitted on June 8, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   2. submitted on June 9, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.
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