Lee Vining in Mono County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Site of the first major gold rush to California’s eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, Dog Town derived its name from a popular miners’ term for camps with huts or hovels. Ruins, lying close to the cliff bordering Dog Town Creek are all that remain of the makeshift dwellings which here formed part of “diggins”.
[Supporting Marker to the Left of the Main Marker]:
Many hopeful parties have tried to make a go of the remaining placer deposits. In the late 1860’s and early 1870’s, Chinese families occupied stone huts, planted gardens, and lived off what little gold they could find. As late as the early 1900’s, an unproductive dredging operation was in place.
Though never very profitable, Dogtown was significant as the first placer
[Supporting Marker to the Right of the Main Marker]:
Visions of "streets paved with gold" lured many fortune hunters to the Sierra Nevada during the mid to late 1800s. Thousands of gold seekers roamed the hills braving the elements. Life was challenging. Bitter winter winds dropped temperatures well below zero and snowfall was often several feet deep. "Homes" with little or no insulation neither kept the wind out, nor the warmth in. Shortages of provisions, difficult travel conditions, illness, and isolations were some of the many challenges faced by these hardy prospectors and pioneers. Most of the men and women were financially unsuccessful - a lucky few actually reached their dreams.
[Both supporting markers include an
Erected 1964 by the California State Park Commission in cooperation with the Mono County Department of Parks and Recreation and the Mono County Historical Society, September 11, 1964. (Marker Number 792.)
Location. 38° 10.219′ N, 119° 11.635′ W. Marker is in Lee Vining, California, in Mono County. Marker is on U.S. 395, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lee Vining CA 93541, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Little Bodie (approx. 1.5 miles away); Dynamo Plant and Pond (approx. 2.2 miles away); Poor Farm (approx. 2.3 miles away); "Bridgeport Inn" (approx. 6.2 miles away); Frontier Justice (approx. 6.2 miles away); Mono County Court House (approx. 6.2 miles away); "The Irwin" (approx. 6.2 miles away); First Bridgeport Courthouse (approx. 6.2 miles away).
More about this marker. This is a California Registered Historical Landmark (No. 792).
Also see . . . Dead Dog in the Middle of the Road. David A. Wright's essay on Dogtown (Submitted on September 17, 2008.)
Categories. • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 17, 2008, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,365 times since then and 69 times this year. Last updated on September 19, 2008, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. Photos: 1. submitted on September 17, 2008. 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 17, 2008, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.