The picturesque village of Murphys is known today for its many natural attractions including caverns for public viewing, a charming Main Street with friendly merchants and unique shops, spectacular wineries, art galleries, gold panning, and world class golf.
Daniel and John Murphy settled in the area in 1848. From a small tent, the Murphy brothers did some very shrewd trading and sold supplies at inflated prices, while using the local Indians for labor on their claims. Rumor has it that both brothers were millionaires before they turned twenty five.
Fifteen miles up the mountain, A.T. Dowd put Calaveras on the international map when he discovered the huge groves of Giant Sequoia Redwoods. Because their fame grew so quickly, by 1855 the Sperry & Perry Hotel-now known as Murphys Historic Hotel & Lodge-had been built to accommodate the multitude of travelers. The old hotel register contains names such as Mark Twain, Horatio Alger, Ulysses S. Grant, and Charles Bolton, aka Black Bart.
Murphys has a climate that closely imitates that of some superb wine regions in France. There are now seven wineries that have staked their claim within a four mile radius of Main Street, six of which have unique tasting rooms and other facilities that are open to the general public.
Nine miles east of Angels Camp off Highway 4 and offering amenities for your entire family, Murphys remains a favorite place to get away from it all.
Located about 20 miles east of Murphys and 20 miles west of Bear Valley, Dorrington has long been a place to spend the night on your way through. The Dorrington Hotel & Restaurant which is now a bed & breakfast, was built in 1860. It was a stage coach stop on the Big Trees-Carson Valley Toll Road and served as a depot for stockmen and as a summer resort for international guests visiting the giant Sequoia redwoods at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.
Noted for its ice cold spring, it was called Cold Spring Ranch until the establishment of a post office in 1902. Dorrington continues to be a beautiful place during all seasons. Reasons to stop include enjoying a cold beer or hot toddy at the saloon, or a Northern Italian meal at the Hotel. Ask about the persistent legend of Rebecca’s ghost who is still known to haunt the restored hostelry. Take note of the second largest Sugar Pine in the world, measuring 32 feet in circumference and 220 feet tall. Scenic Highway 4 junctions with Board’s Crossing at Dorrington. Board’s Crossing Road will take you down to campgrounds on the Stanislaus River.
During the Gold Rush era, the Arnold community was comprised of two large ranches where logging was the main and very lucrative industry. In 1927, Bob and Bernice Arnold arrived and built the Ebbetts Pass Inn and a restaurant. Their accommodations offered services to the thousands of visitors traveling from all over the world to Murphys and Angels Camp, and on to the intriguing giant redwood Sequoia groves at what is now Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Many were drawn even further up the mountain to the snow country beyond.
The town of Arnold, always holding its own, built up slowly to a current population of over 7,000. Nature is at its very finest in this area. The town is surrounded by the Stanislaus National Forest with its awe-inspiring scenery. Year round outdoor activities such as hiking, bicycling, off road adventures, challenging golf, great fishing on spectacular lakes, and world class winter recreation have become its life blood.
Arnold is also home to fine eateries and interesting shops. It has a local calendar filled with special events for the entire family; live music concerts, arts and crafts festivals, and recreational sporting events. The Sierra Nevada Logging Museum was recently opened to the public and is another exciting addition to the wonders of the Arnold area.
The surrounding area is home to a wide variety of distinct California communities, each with its own personality and wonderful rich history. Below you will find a short historical description.
Angels Camp, California
Angels Camp, aka the “real” City of Angels and the only incorporated city in all of Calaveras County, was named after shopkeeper Henry Angel of Rhode Island who started a trading post here in 1848.
Several good strikes were made by early miners and within the year over 4,000 miners were working the surface gold of Angels. The source of gold played out quickly but hardrock mining kept the gold industry flourishing in Angels until recently. The town is honeycombed with tunnels from the many successful mines.
In 1864, Mark Twain wrote his first successful short story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” and Angels Camp became linked with frogs apparently for all time. The Jumping Frog Jubilee and Calaveras County Fair is held annually the third week in May.
Angels Camp’s population today is about 3,000. Its main industry is tourism which boasts such attractions as caverns for public viewing, challenging golf, a beautiful lake and marina with houseboat and fishing boat rentals, historic buildings and monuments, interesting shops and great eateries.
The Angels Camp Museum is filled with lovingly preserved artifacts from the Gold Rush era and several fascinating outdoor exhibits, including a collection of mining equipment, a blacksmith’s shop and a unique carriage house.
Angels Camp is also the home of World Class Ski Racer and two time World Cup Champion Kyle Rasmussen of the U.S. Ski Team.
- See more at: http://www.gocalaveras.com/history/#sthash.1lxBlFmq.dpuf