Jamestown in Tuolumne County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
― Gateway to the Southern Mines ―
Arriving in 1849, Col. George F. James, a merchant popular for supplying free champagne to patrons, was elected acalde, and the town was dubbed “Jamestown.”
Poor mining investments indebted him and he quietly left town. Angry miners changed the name of the town to “American Camp.” Eventually, “Jamestown” was restored.
Jamestown’s population was approximately 4,000, before the devastating fire of October, 1885.
Erected 1991 by Matuca Chapter 1849. E Clampus Vitus.
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
Location. 37° 57.199′ N, 120° 25.378′ W. Marker is in Jamestown, California, in Tuolumne County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Seca Street, on the right when traveling south on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is mounted on a mine-car at the southwest corner of Rocca Park. Marker is in this post office area: Jamestown CA 95327, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rocca Park (a few steps from this marker); Ramirez – Preston Building Jamestown Branch Jail (within shouting distance of this marker); National Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Community Hall / Jamestown Justice Court (within shouting distance of this marker); The Emporium – 1897 (within shouting distance of this marker); Jamestown United Methodist Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Red Light District (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jamestown.
Regarding Jamestown. This site was designated as California Registered Historical Landmark No.431 on March 16, 1949.
Colonel George James came from San Francisco and had Native Americans and other miners working for him. He lived lavishly with a well stocked tent and trading post and the town was named in his honor after he plied the locals with free champagne. He suddenly left one night leaving many unpaid and in anger they changed the name of the camp from Jamestown to American Camp. The name didn't catch on and the disrespectful name of "Jim Town" became its nickname.
Also see . . . History of Jamestown, California. In June of 1848, a mining company formed by Benjamin F. Wood of Clatsop Plains in Oregon, founded the first claim in Tuolumne County. The camp was known as Woods' Diggings and later as Woods' Crossing. It is now Jamestown and Main Street is located about a mile north where Woods Creek crosses under Highway 108 and where Mr. Wood found the first gold in Tuolumne County. (Submitted on July 27, 2010.)
Categories. • Notable Places •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 27, 2010, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 895 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on July 27, 2010, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. 8. submitted on October 26, 2013, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.