It was this last road that we took to get to Coulterville Saturday morning.
George W. Coulter had started a tent store at that spot in 1850 to supply hundreds of miners working the rich placers in nearby creeks. The “town” grew, and Coulter built the first hotel; water for it was pumped from a well by two Newfoundland dogs (I don’t make this stuff up – it’s on the official signboard in the town!).
Now, Coulterville has a neat little museum, the Northern Mariposa County History Center, housed in what was once the Coulterville Hotel, one of 15 hotels in town (there were 26 saloons, and no one is talking about how many brothels).
|My Grandmother had a machine just like this, and I remember her sitting and pumping that treadle to control the needle's up and down speed.|
In front of one of the old saloons, we found the Coulterville Claim Jumpers, an Old West Re-enactment Group, doing very little re-enacting, but mostly standing around. We asked them to re-enact a little for us, and they did.
Later while we were in the saloon having a beer, one of them came in to rob the place. The main guy proclaimed that they "don't want your money, give me your nuts." The nearest patron, in the mood, handed the bad guy a tray of peanuts from the bar. That satisfied the ne'er-do-well, but on his way out the door, the barkeep and the sheriff gunned him to the floor. I wasn't prepared for all this tomfoolery and noise, and failed to get a picture.
|The "saloon girl" was actually co-owner of the place with her husband. They had recently bought and remodeled the place.|
Leaving town, Suzy noticed this street sign, so we trotted down and looked at the last remnant of the old Chinatown.
Up the road a ways was another cemetery, the Dudley Cemetery. We thought, since it was very near the Dudley Ranch, that it might have been a family cemetery, but it seems open to one and all who happen to die nearby. As in all these old places, some of the sights are heart rending.
|There were many graves marked with flags, probably denoting military veterans.|
|A musician, perhaps? Suzy wants wind chimes on her grave.|
|The older brother died at age one year nine months, within a week of his infant brother who died at birth.|
The Coulterville visit ended our Yosemite / Gold Rush adventure, at least for a while. Now we are in the San Francisco Bay Area for a July 4 holiday visit with daughter Deb. We'll tell you all about that later in ... Our Life on Wheels.