Families & Individuals

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Monte Wolf

Monte Wolf, the reclusive mountain man of Calaveras County and the Mokelumne Canyon, is the subject of many tales, many of which are true.  The attached biography by Veda Guild Lindford (1985) provides a view of his life through a family who knew him well.

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Spicer Ranch

Thomas and Elizabeth Spicer, natives of England, arrived in California sometime prior to 1851. The couple had eight children: Daniel, Mary Ann, Joseph, Elizabeth, Susanna, Thomas, James, and Ellen; the latter four born after the family’s arrival in California.

In June, 1867, Thomas Spicer purchased the George Duncan Ranch from G.W. Merritt. This parcel was located on Littlejohns Creek, in Sections 16 or 21, T1N, R12E (Calaveras County Deed Book R:102). Duncan’s ranch totaled 160 acres, but had increased to 320 acres sometime before 1867 when it was deeded to Spicer by Merritt (Calaveras County Deed Book R:102). 

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The Fricot Family

The history of the area now known as Fricot City, is inextricably tied to the tenure of Desiré Fricot, a native of France who was involved in mining and farming activities in Calaveras County from the 1890s until his death in 1940. His father, Jules Fricot, had been involved in mining enterprises in Grass Valley since the 1850s, and later in Sheep Ranch, owning part of the Chavanne Mine in that community with his friend Andre Chavanne.

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The March House, Burson

The land in the Burson area was settled long before the arrival of the railroad, on a parcel of land patented by John H. Peters on February 20, 1882 (Calaveras County Land Patent Maps). Peters, born in Michigan in 1837, was first noted in the U.S. Census in 1850, when he was residing with the Copernall family in Exeter, Monroe County, Michigan, and working as a 13-year old farm laborer. By 1870 he was living on his own farm in Elliott Township, northeastern San Joaquin County, where he resided with his wife Alice, aged 26, a native of New York, their daughter Ada, born that February, and two young farm laborers from Michigan. His real estate was valued at $600 and personal estate at $700 (U.S. Federal Census 1870).

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The Flanders Ranch

Immediately south of the project area was the ranch of the Flanders family. The exact date of the settlement of the Flanders family in the area of what is now Moran Road between Arnold and Avery is unknown, but as they traveled over the early emigrant road into Calaveras County in 1849, and left an account of their visit to the Big Trees, they would have undoubtedly passed by the land that they later homesteaded (Costello, ed. 1988:16).

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The Raggio Family and Mill

The Raggio Mill on San Domingo Creek was operated by four brothers from the pioneer Raggio family, natives of Italy, whose parents came to California in 1854 or 1855. They mined first at Michigan Bar, then moved to El Dorado (Mountain Ranch), where Vincenzo and his wife Theresa (De Voto) went into the store business. When the placer mines in Mountain Ranch were declining and quartz mining started up they moved to Sheep Ranch where they operated another store. After Vincenzo retired, he turned the store over to sons Joe, Ernest, and John, while Enrico took contracts cutting wood for the Sheep Ranch mine. They then established a stage line, running to Murphys, Angels Camp, Mokelumne Hill, West Point, San Andreas, Valley Springs, Milton, and points in-between. When Sheep Ranch mining declined, they moved their store to Angels Camp.

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Sciaccaluga/Pyshon Property, Vallecito
By Judith Marvin, 1998

Angelo Sciaccaluga was born near Genoa, Italy, in 1840, emigrating to the United States in 1861 or 1862, as a ship stowaway. He first stayed in a settlement with other Italian immigrants, then come to California and worked as a miner. He was naturalized in 1871, and by 1872, purchased lad from George Major (Major had acquired the Mull Ranch, east of Coyote Creek, in 1865, and another 320-acre parcel on the Vallecito-Murphys Road. By the mid-1870s he had sold all of his lands in the area and moved away).

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The Ansil Davis Ranch
Located in Present-Day Douglas Flat Area

Ansil Davis first registered to vote in Calaveras County in 1867, noting his age as 39, born in Maine, and working as a millman in Angels Camp (Great Register of Voters 1866-1887). Three years later he was working in a sawmill in Avery (U.S. Federal Census 1870), and by 1874 he was residing in Douglas Flat with another miner and raising poultry (Calaveras County Assessment Roll 1873-4). In 1880 he was noted as a miner and millman, and by 1900 he had married Sarah, aged 44, a California native, and noted his occupation as farmer (U.S. Federal Census 1880, 1900; San Joaquin County Directory).

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The Italian Ranch
The De Ferrari/Foppiano/Malatesta Ranch in the Douglas Flat Region

In August of 1863, Giacamo De Ferrari (spelled numerous other ways, as he could not read or write and signed his name with an X) filed a land claim to his property, noting that it was bounded south by Hitchcock’s Ranch, north by that of Moses Towle, crossing Coyote Creek westerly at the intersection of Towle and Holmes’ ranches, and thence southwesterly along the line of an old flume. The land was marked and bounded by a picket and brush fence (thus, it does not appear as if the stone fences had been constructed by that time) (Calaveras County Land Claim Book D:60). The 1861 assessments for Towle and Hitchcock noted the “Italian Ranch” positioned between the two.

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The Bertatta Ranch
Located in Present-Day Douglas Flat Area

The Bertatta Ranch complex, the 15 acres encompassing the residence, barns, blacksmith shop, garage, and stone walls.The property remained in the Bertatta family from 1884 on until the last family members died in 1970. During the late 1880s, Bertatta was assessed for 15 acres with a house, barn, orchard, and fence bounded north by Matteson, south by Ansil Davis, and west by the road, with furniture, a cow, wine, and a dog, with little change through the 1890s. 

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The Hitchcock Ranch
Located in Present-Day Douglas Flat Area

Probably the first to settle the lands now located in the Douglas Flat region was Isaac P. Hitchcock, a native of Pennsylvania and possibly a member of Heckendorn’s 1849 Pennsylvania Company. Certainly he was noted as working the Hitchcock Claim on the north side of Douglas Flat as early as 1850 (San Andreas Independent).

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The Richards Ranch
A Ranch Located in the Washington Flat Area

By 1853, William Richards, his wife Grace, son William Hosking Richards, and daughters Elizabeth and Grace, had settled on a five-ace parcel of land located in the northern portion of the project area, on the east side of Washington Flat Road and north of Angels Creek. The Richards were natives of Cornwall, England, who had immigrated to Grant County Wisconsin in 1844 (Great Register of Voters 1896-98), where both their daughters were born. Two sons, Edward and John, evidently died there or never emigrated to Calaveras County (U.S. Federal Census 1850).

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Antone Quijada
A History of Antone Quijada and His Family

By Judith Marvin

Antone Quijada was born in Calaveritas in 1876, the son of Antonio Quijada and Francisca Guiterra, who were married in Mokelumne Hill in 1866. The senior Quijada was born in Chile ca. 1843, and naturalized by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

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The Johnson Ranch

The Johnson Ranch is thought to have had at least three owners prior to the Johnsons’ tenancy. In 1857 a newspaper account mentioned the garden of the “Hockman and Reynolds Ranch” containing a general variety of trees, plants, and flowers, but most especially the “Longworth’s Variety” strawberry (San Andreas Independent, November 14, 1857). Sometime prior to 1860 the ranch became the property of Philip Schwartz, who sold it that year to George A. Stoddardt (Calaveras County Deed Book E:543).

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Zumwalt

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Black Bart
Charles Earl Bowles

Charles Earl Boles, alias Black Bart, was an American Old West outlaw noted for his poetic messages left after only two of his robberies (the fourth and fifth). He was also known as Charles E. Boles, C.E. Bolton, Charles E. Bowles, and “Black Bart the Po8.” A gentleman bandit, Black Bart was one of the most notorious stagecoach robbers to operate in and around Northern California and southern Oregon during the 1870s and 1880s. The fame he received for his numerous daring thefts is rivaled only by his reputation for style and sophistication.

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Vickrey

A brush fence, depicted on the 1870 GLO (northwestern quarter of the northwestern quarter of Section 9, T1N, R12E) was located upon the 40-acre ranch of John and Elizabeth Vickrey, who patented the land in 1884 and deeded it to Flower in 1889 (1). Vickrey was listed as a native of Illinois, a miner, and residing on the property with his wife, Emma, and children, Ida and Henry, in 1880.

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The Callahan Family

The lands taken up by members of the Callahan family from the 1870s through the 1890s may have been occupied by others in the 1850s and 1860s, but no deeds were located. By 1870, Thomas Harris and Elvira Callahan and their family of six children were residing on their ranch in the northwesterly portion of the Flowers Ranch (southwestern quarter of Section 10, T1N, R12E). That year, Thomas, a native of Ireland, was listed as a 44-year-old farmer with $200 in real estate and $1,475 in personal estate.

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Lewis, Gatzman, Davies, Baker and Flower Families

The first person to be assessed for the lands on Baker’s Flat was Joseph Lewis in 1858. That year, his assessment noted ownership of 320 acres, 300 enclosed under fence, located 2 miles south of the Log Cabin Ranch and 5 miles northwest of Scorpion Gulch, which included a residence, a barn, wagon, horses, cows, and hogs, and was valued at $1,000. The ranch was situated on the Salt Spring Valley–Knights Ferry Road, with the dwelling on the east side of Littlejohns Creek.

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The Flowers Family

The man who was to have the longest connection with the lands in the Flowers Ranch area was Nathan Monroe Flower (a.k.a. Flowers), a native of New York and early resident of Stanislaus County who came to California in 1852 (1). By 1860, however, the census enumerator listed Flower, age 39, as residing somewhere near the Flowers Ranch area. His occupation was listed as “merchant” with $1,000 in personal estate, and he was residing with two miners: John Mosher, 50, from Massachusetts; and relative J. D. Flowers, 20, from New York.

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The Douglas Flat community

Most of the long-term settlers in the community came from Wales and Italy. The Welsh included the Roberts, Evans, Williams, Prothero, Thomas, and other families, with the Italians being represented by the Malatestas, Arratas, Malespinas, Copellos, Sanguinettis, Valentes, Lavagninos, Gagliardos, Grenittas, Bertattas, and others. Most of the men mined and farmed, especially the Italians.

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