Interesting Firsts


Charles E. Boles, gentleman bandit, aka “Black Bart” circa 1883.

Calaveras County is one of the original 27 counties in California. It was formed in 1850 at the time California gained its statehood. In 1864, Calaveras County granted some of its land to Amador and Alpine counties.

  • The Calaveras Chronicle, first published on October 28, 1851, at Mokelumne Hill, was the first weekly newspaper published in California.
  • In 1852, A. T. Dowd, a hunter for the Union Water Company discovered the first grove of Big Trees, “Sequoia gigantea,” in California.
  • In 1854, the largest gold nugget, found in the United States was taken from the Morgan Mine at Carson Hill. It weighted 214 pounds and eight ounces, Troy.
  • In 1864, Mark Twain wrote his first successful short story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”
  • The first three-story building erected in the interior of California was in Mokelumne Hill.
  • Renowned bandit Black Bart held up his first stagecoach (1875) and his last stagecoach (1883) at the same spot, on Funk Hill near Copperopolis, in western Calaveras County.