Amador City on Historic Hwy 49

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Amador County's Pioneer Cemeteries

Foothill Garden ClubWhile meandering through the cemeteries, you can envision the excitement and fear these early pioneers must have felt while gathering the last pieces of life they were accustomed to before setting off to uncharted territories in their search for gold. What difficulties did they encounter trying to build a new life while erecting the towns along Hwy 49, each filled with it's own trials and tribulations. Wanting to read every tombstone, hoping to fill in some of the blank spaces our imaginations have created about the hardships and heartbreaks families endured while trying to settle one of the most magnificent areas in California, the Mother Lode, Gold Rush Country. Who were these people and where did they come from, the people who built these impressive places to worship, these grand homes in which to live and raise their families. The school houses made to educate their children, dreaming of a better life for their young ones, the reason they traveled to these untamed areas in the first place. Because of the many men, women and children who decided to stay in Amador County, we can enjoy the rich gold rush history through the many buildings and cultural attractions they created out of necessity but left behind for our enjoyment and education.

Foothill Garden ClubAmador County has 27 cemeteries, maybe more. You are encouraged to visit each and every one of them, for historical study, genealogical research or to travel back in time while enjoying a walk today. Please be respectful of those buried there, do not remove any items and because of the fragile nature of the tombstones please do not disturb them. For a detailed map of cemetery locations, contact the Amador County Chamber of Commerce or the Amador County Cemetery Board, both located in Jackson.

Amador City
The state's smallest incorporated city in population and city limits, only two miles from Sutter Creek on Hwy. 49. Jose Maria Amador a ranchero, gave his name to this tiny town. The first quartz discovery in the county was made here by a Baptist preacher. Driving down Main Street, even though it is only one block long, overwhelms you with the feeling you have traveled back in time. Visit the many quaint shops, good dining, and history.

Amador Whitney Museum - Exhibits change biannually. Women and their contributions to the Mother Lode are emphasized, their life experiences, major economic basics, their social life and more. Open Saturday and Sunday 12pm - 4pm. Admission by donation. Main Street, Amador City.

Historic Walking Tour - Visit 15 historic buildings and sites. Pick up map at Sutter Creek or Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

Amador City Cemetery - A marked and self guided tour, 1.25 acres behind the Imperial Hotel. Dating to the beginning of the city.

Western Hardrock Mining Museum - One of the most complete collections of mining and Goldrush memorabilia on display in the US.
Miner's Pick Antiques, 14207 Hwy 49, Amador City, CA - 209-267-0848

Towns Close By

Sutter Creek

Monteverde General Store - Turn of the century country store built in 1898. Open Thursday and Friday, 11am - 4pm, Saturday and Sunday, Noon - 5pm. Admission by donation. Randolph Street at Boston Alley. Info: 209-267-5647 or 209-267-1431

Knight Foundry - Historic water powered foundry, America's only remaining water powered iron works and machine shop. It is just as it was when set up by inventor Samuel Knight in 1872. 81 Eureka Street, Sutter Creek. Call for appointment or tour weekends. Info: 209-267-0201.

Sutter Gold Mine - Underground gold mine tours, gold panning and a visitor center. Open daily 10am - 4:30pm or call for an appointment. Highway 49, 1/2 mile North of Sutter Creek. Info: 209-267-9117 or 888-818-7462.

Historic Walking Tour - Visit 62 historic buildings and sites. Pick up map at Sutter Creek Chamber of Commerce.

The largest city in Amador County, founded as a gold mining camp in 1848. Most of Jackson was destroyed by fire in 1862 and rebuilt, and many of the historic buildings you see today are from that era. Jackson became the county seat when Amador County was established in 1854. Jackson is easily located on Hwy. 49, south of Sutter Creek, and where Hwy. 88 and Hwy. 49 meet.

Amador County Museum - An 1859 vintage home shows Mother Lode memorabilia;15 exhibit rooms, a 15 minute audiovisual show, a full scale model of a narrow gauge railroad locomotive patterned after those which opened up the west, see the Kennedy Mine in full operation through the large scale working models. The models demonstrate the various functions of the headframe hoisting equipment, the stamp mill and the famous Jackson Wheels. Call for days and hours of operation, tour times and reservations for large tour groups. 225 Church St., Jackson. Info: 209-223-6386

Kennedy Mine - This 1880 gold mine was once one of the richest in the Mother Lode. Tours and gold panning are now offered March - October. call for days and times. 1234 Kennedy Mine Road, Jackson. Info: 209-223-954

Historic Walking Tour - Visit 25 historic buildings and sites. Pick up map at Sutter Creek or Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

Historians believe this may have been the first gold camp established in 1848 in the area,
and Dry Creek was the first panned in the county.

Historic Walking Tour - Visit 12 historic buildings and sites. Pick up map at Sutter Creek or Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

About 6 miles east of Hwy. 49 at Plymouth. Founded by Missourians in 1849, and named by an elder in the group who described the younger men as "always fiddling." In 1878 the name was changed to Oleta and the named restored to Fiddletown in the 1930's.

Chew Kee Store - Chinese rammed earth building established as an herb shop during the Gold Rush. The only remnant of the once thriving Fiddletown Chinese Community. Open Saturdays only, April through October, 12pm - 4pm or by appointment. Fiddletown Road, Fiddletown. Info: 209-223-4131 or 209-367-0696.

Historic Walking Tour - Visit 10 historic buildings and sites. Pick up map at Sutter Creek or Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

A town established during the Gold Rush but founded as a supply center, stage and rail stop, agricultural hub and clay and stone producer, unlike most of the other communities founded on gold mining. Looking back in history you will find Ione had two previous names, Freezeout and Bedbug, changed because the townsfolk grew embarrassed by these names. Located north of the junction of Hwy. 88 and 104.

Historic Walking Tour - Visit 27 historic buildings and sites. Pick up map at Sutter Creek or Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

Jackson Rancheria
330 acres off New York Ranch road in Jackson, is the home to the members of the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwok Indians. Established in 1893 with the tribal government was formalized in 1979. Also located on this site is the Jackson Rancheria Casino, Hotel and Conference Center.

Located west of Jackson on Hwy. 88 where Hwy. 49, coming from Sutter Creek, joins Hwy. 88. A stage stop during the Gold Rush days, with the last stage stopping there in 1915, however motorized stages continued in use.

The Froelich Winery - Started in 1862 and by 1866 was the largest producer of wine in the county. Wine was made at the Froelich Winery until the 1950's. Ruins of the Froelich Winery can still be seen today.

Pine Grove
This community began in 1855 when Albert Leonard built an inn among a pine grove. Located on Hwy. 88 just east of Jackson.

Chaw'se Indian Grinding Rock State Historical Park - 135 acre park was named for the huge bedrock mortar that the Miwoks used to grind some of their food; acorns, nuts, seeds and berries. The 7,700 sq. foot limestone outcropping has 1,185 motor holes (chaw'ses) and 363 petroglyphs. Some of the petroglyph designs are thought to be 2 to 3 thousand years old. There is a reconstructed village of the Northern Miwok Native Californians and the Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum. Another major feature of our park is the roundhouse, the traditional ceremonial and social center for the Miwok bands. The current roundhouse was built in 1993 by volunteers and tribal members. Hiking trails, including some with wheelchair access, nature trails, picnic sites and campground. Open daily. Admission $2 per car. They also have camping facilities (23 sites) on a first come first served basis. $12 per night, bathroom facilities and hot showers (quarter operated). They can accommodate RV's but there are no hookups or dump facilities. The park is open year-round from daylight to dusk, weather permitting. The museum (included in day use fee) is open from 10:00 to 4:00 on weekends, 11:00 to 3:00 on weekdays. Guided school tours are available; call during the first two weeks in September for reservations. 14881 Pine Grove/Volcano Road, in Pine Grove, just 2 miles from Hwy 88. Info: 209-296-7488.

Historic Walking Tour - Visit 6 historic buildings and sites. Pick up map at Sutter Creek or Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

Located in the northern part of the county on Hwy. 49. Here you will find the Amador County Fairgrounds celebrating the annual County Fair. Plymouth was established in 1871. The Empire Store building still stands from the the mining days. Like so many other Gold Rush towns, Plymouth's commercial district was almost destroyed by fire, but then rebuilt in a short period of time.

Shenandoah Valley Museum at Sobon Estate Winery. - One of California's oldest wineries,founded in 1856 by the Uhlinger family from Switzerland, it has been in continuous operation since before the Civil War. Artifacts include full scale horse drawn wagons, farm implements, winemaking tools, furniture and antiques from yesteryears in the Mother Lode. Open 10am - 5pm daily. 14430 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth. Info: 209-245-6554

Historic Walking Tour - Visit 12 historic buildings and sites. Pick up map at Sutter Creek or Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

Located northeast of Jackson off Hwy. 88. Gold was discovered here by members of the New York 8th Regiment, Mexican War Volunteers, in 1848. It became a rich mining area that produced some $90 million in gold. Many reminders of the 1800's still remain, an old jail, a brewery built in 1856, the Lavezzo building and many other historic buildings. Probably the most unique is Old Abe, the cannon that helped win the Civil War without ever firing a shot.

Volcano was bombed by an "infernal flying device," by the Imperial Japanese Army on March 22nd, 1945 during WWII. The intention was to burn down our forests, and one of the bombs landed in Volcano near Clapboard Gulch.


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