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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Markleeville in Alpine County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Hangman's Bridge & Vigilante Justice

 
 
Hangman's Bridge & Vigilante Justice Marker image. Click for full size.
Snowshoe Thompson Chapter No. 1827 of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, August 6, 2017
1. Hangman's Bridge & Vigilante Justice Marker
Inscription.  On December 18, 1872, Ernst Reusch, a jealous husband shot and killed E.H. Erickson through the window of  Erickson’s Saloon in Silver Mountain City as Erickson played cards. Reusch believed that Erickson had been having an affair with his wife and took matters into his own hands.  It can be assumed that whiskey was involved. The gun was not Reusch’s, but had been left at the boarding house where Reusch was staying by Charles P. Goff, who was county judge at the time. Soon after the murder, Reusch was arrested and placed in jail.

In order to spare the financially-strapped county the expense of a jury trial, and due to the trouble of finding a jury that was unbiased, the county arranged for Reusch to be transported to Mono County for a fair trial. Reusch never made it out of Alpine County. On April 17, 1874, local armed vigilantes stopped Reusch’s escort at a point on the east fork Carson River and took Reusch as their prisoner. They put a noose around his neck and dropped him over the side of the bridge. Vigilante justice was fast, and it can be assumed that whiskey was involved.

The original plaque was buried in an unmarked grave

Hangman's Bridge & Vigilante Justice Marker image. Click for full size.
Snowshoe Thompson Chapter No. 1827 of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, August 6, 2017
2. Hangman's Bridge & Vigilante Justice Marker
after being rejected by the Bureau of Land Management and could not be placed at the location of hangman’s bridge, located 1.5 miles east of Markleeville on HWY 89. Due to some “Historical Changes” the plaque was rewritten and remade in 2017 and placed at this location. It can be assumed whiskey was involved.

Dedicated on July 26, 2014 (6019)
Buried, rewritten and dedicated in 2017 (6022)
By the Snowshoe Thompson Chapter #1827
of The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus
 
Erected 2017 by Snowshoe Thompson Chapter #1827 of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list.
 
Location. 38° 41.674′ N, 119° 46.957′ W. Marker is in Markleeville, California, in Alpine County. Marker is on School Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 135 School Street, Markleeville CA 96120, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Webster School (within shouting distance of this marker); Alpine County Historical Complex (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lost Whiskey of Raymond (within shouting distance of this

Map showing this marker's location relative to Hangman’s Bridge image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Google Maps, April 14, 2018
3. Map showing this marker's location relative to Hangman’s Bridge
marker); Old Log Jail (within shouting distance of this marker); Webster School (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alpine Hotel (about 700 feet away); Markleeville General Store (approx. 0.2 miles away); Alpine County Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Markleeville.
 
More about this marker. As explained on the historical marker, it could not be placed at the site of Hangman’s Bridge. Hangman's Bridge is 1½ miles east of Markleeville on Highway 89.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 13, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 10, 2018, by Frank Gunshow Sanchez of Hollister, California. This page has been viewed 262 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 10, 2018.   3. submitted on April 14, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photos of today’s Hangman’s bridge • Can you help?
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Sep. 24, 2020