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French

Many French immigrants settled in  Calaveras County, particularly Mokelumne Hill which had one of the largest concentrations in California outside of San Francisco. The community – once concentrated along modern Lafayette Street – featured bakeries, restaurants, schools, a hospital, and a fraternal society. French Hill, on the eastern edge of Mokelumne Hill, was the site of the French War, which erupted when some Americans attempted to move onto rich diggings discovered by a group of French nationals. The French built stone breastworks, raised the Tri-Color, and stood off the invaders. The dispute was finally mediated when the French Consulate arrived from San Francisco, but not before several men were wounded and one killed. In this photo, taken in the early 1900s, French Hill rises in the background and the Catholic Church on Lafayette can be seen below. (Courtesy Mokelumne Hill History Society)

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