Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Monday, June 24, 2013

Looking for B.F. or Our Version Of "Who Do You Think You Are"

One of the reasons we are staying in this part of California is for me to do some research and find some information about my great, great grandfather who came here in 1850 with many, many others to search for gold.

I had found him in the 1852 California Census as a miner living on the Middle Fork of the American River in Placer County.

Today, we went to Auburn, the county seat of Placer County, to the Placer County Archives.

The ladies at the archives were wonderful.  I went in and told them what information I had and they began to help me look bringing out binders to look through as well as looking in the records on the computer.

An 1856 court case was found with B.F. Huntington as one of the plaintiffs.  The complaint was regarding a mining claim and the landmarks were given where we were able to come up with a pretty good idea of the location.

They pulled out a map from 1890 that showed the location.

I was able to get copies of the 26 page file of court documents.  It will take me awhile to read through it completely.  We also found another record where my great, great grandfather sold his original mining claim.  It was a "gold mine" of information. :)

We were about 15 miles from the general locality of the claim, so when we finished at the Archives about 1:30, that was our next destination.

We drove out I-80 toward Reno and got off at a state highway leading to

Yankee Jims was one of the largest gold camps in Placer County during the California Gold Rush.  It was estimated to have as many as 5,000 people in the 1850's.

We took Yankee Jims Road heading to the American River.  The road soon turns into this 5 miles of what the signs call primitive road.

It was asphalt, but just a little wider than one lane and many times you could just look out the window and see how easily you could just slide off the side of the road into a very deep canyon.  I kept leaning over to Jim's side like that would make a difference in keeping us on the correct side of the road.

As we were slowly driving along, Jim says we are on our own Who Do You Think You Are adventure.  He asked, isn't that what they do on that show you watch when they are looking for information about their ancestors.  I said at least they have a film crew who will know if they go off the side of the road. ;)

There hasn't been any rain, but today there were some showers, the low hanging clouds were pretty through the valley, in an eerie sort of way.

It took us awhile, but we did arrive at the river.  This is the Yankee Jim's Bridge, the 4th bridge that has gone over the river.  It is a suspension bridge, this one built in 1930.

You can still drive over the bridge, it has a 3 tons limit, but we chose not to.  It is rated a 3 out of 100 on the structural scale.  We were told about the website Bridgehunter.com where you can look up pictures of historic and notable bridges throughout the U.S.  Before we left, we looked up the bridge.

We walked to the middle of the bridge and took pictures of both sides.

According to the court records we had found, my gg grandfather's claim was pretty close to this location.

We didn't stop too long as the rain was beginning to come down harder and we still had to make it back on the same road we had come down.

Jim stopped to go into this little cave we later found out had probably been dug out by miners to keep warm.

We left and made it safely back to the highway.  It was much easier for me since I was on the side of the mountain rather than looking down in the canyon.

It was a very fun day of family history.

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