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Hornitos in Mariposa County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Hornitos

 
 
Hornitos Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester Leston, October 8, 2010
1. Hornitos Marker
This is the 3rd generation marker. The first two, also wooden, did not stand up to the elements and continue their deterioration stacked behind the Ghillardelli ruins.
Inscription. Welcome to one of the most famous ghost towns of the 1800's. Hornitos is Spanish for "Little Ovens". It got its name from the above ground graves that were shaped like little cooking ovens used in Mexico. During this time, population was about 15,000 and had the first Wells Fargo office in the county. $40,000 in gold was shipped to the mint daily. Hornitos was host to Joaquin Murietta, one of Calif. most colorful bandits. Hornitos is located in the S.W. part of Mariposa County. The county was the largest in California during the Gold Rush period (1849).
 
Erected 1954 by Town of Hornitos and E Clampus Vitus.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 37° 30.15′ N, 120° 14.267′ W. Marker is in Hornitos, California, in Mariposa County. Marker is at the intersection of High Street (County Road J16) and Church Street, on the right when traveling north on High Street. Touch for map. The main street in Hornitos is Bear Valley Road. High Street is one block East of Bear Valley Road. There are only 3 streets in town. You can park in the town square and walk the entire town in about a half an hour. Just past the jail, High Street intersects with Church Street, the road that leads to St Catherine's Catholic Church, East of town. Marker is in this post office area: Hornitos CA 95325, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker
Hornitos Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester Leston, October 8, 2010
2. Hornitos Marker
. A different marker also named Hornitos (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Hornitos (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Wells Fargo Office (within shouting distance of this marker); D. Ghirardelli & Co. (within shouting distance of this marker); Hornitos Masonic Hall (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hornitos Masonic Hall No. 98 (about 500 feet away); Cavagnaro General Store (about 700 feet away); St Catherine Catholic Church (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hornitos.
 
Regarding Hornitos. The jail dates from around 1849, before Hornitos was named - originally settled by Mexicans and native Californian descendants of Mexican settlers. The building itself is constructed of schist granite quarried from the nearby hills. There is a story of a Chinese miner called John that was murdered in the jail cell in the 1860's. The jail is the oldest building in town. There are many historic buildings remaining in Hornitos including the Wells Fargo Building, St Catherine's Catholic Church, The Masonic building, the Ghirardelli ruins and others. The town is a destination for touring classic car clubs and touring motorcycle clubs taking the historic Highway 49 back roads.
 
Also see . . .  Hornitos. Includes the story of the murder of John the Chinese miner. (Submitted on January 6, 2011, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.) 
 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
 
Hornitos Wall and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester Leston, October 8, 2010
3. Hornitos Wall and Marker
ECV Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, October 8, 2010
4. ECV Plaque
To Remember
The Hornitos Calabozo's
Welcome to the 1854 Brethren
"Credo Quia Absurdum"
Dedicated May 9, 1954
The Hornitos Jail and ECV Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, October 8, 2010
5. The Hornitos Jail and ECV Plaque
Shown above the door to the single jail cell. The plaque was placed by the Yerba Buena Chapter of E Clampus Vitus to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Hornitos and to pay homage to the original Clampers of the 1850's by the revived Clampers of the 1950's
Rear of the Hornitos Jail image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, October 8, 2010
6. Rear of the Hornitos Jail
The Hornitos Jail before Restoration image. Click for full size.
By State of California photographer, circa abt 1947
7. The Hornitos Jail before Restoration
Ghirardelli Ruins image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, October 8, 2010
8. Ghirardelli Ruins
In 1858 D. Ghirardelli of the San Francisco Gharardelli Chocolate and Cocoa Company operated a store here. The ruins are preserved in arrested decay.
St. Catherine's Catholic Church image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, October 9, 2010
9. St. Catherine's Catholic Church
Church dates from about 1865. Ther rock butresses were added when the church was restored in the 1930's. The cemetery sits behind the church.
Hornitos Masonic Hall image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, October 9, 2010
10. Hornitos Masonic Hall
Originally built in Quartzburg in 1855, it was purchased by the Hornitos Masons in 1873.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 6, 2011, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. This page has been viewed 776 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 8, 2011, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.   4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on January 6, 2011, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.   8, 9, 10. submitted on January 10, 2011, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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