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Books on Calaveras County History

There is a wealth of books published on the history of Calaveras County. Although some sources are out of print, these can usually be accessed through County library branches, or at the Calaveras County Archives or Historical Society.  Calaveras County is also frequently mentioned in articles, government and private documents, diaries, reports and scientific studies, and other publications related to the Gold Rush, mining, the Mother Lode, and other relevant topics. Although too numerous to reference here, a few with important contributions have been inlcuded.


Alberts, Phil


1967    A History of Mountain Ranch, El Dorado. Angels Publishing Company.


Ames, Lloyd Donald, Newspaper Clippings about the Land and Its People.

            East Belt Mines and Others, Moke Hill to West Point, 1861-1881.  Volume 1. 

            East Belt Mines and Others, Moke Hill to West Point, 1881-1908.  Volume II.

            East Belt Mines and Mills, Moke Hill to West Point, 1883-1915.  Volume 3.

            East Belt Mines and Mills, Moke Hill to West Point, 1915-1941.  Volume 4.

            East Belt Mills and Mines, Moke Hill to West Point, 1941-1952. Volume 5. 


Beilharz, Edwin A., and Carlos U. López

1976    We Were 49ers!  Chilean Accounts of the California Gold Rush.  Ward Ritchie Press, Pasadena, CA


Bird, Milo

1985    Melones Memories.  Tuolumne County Historical Society, Sonora, CA.


Bishop, Frances E.

1985    A Brief History of the Big Tree and the Big Stump.  Frances E. Bishop.  Privately printed.


Borthwick, J.D., Index and foreword by Joseph A. Sullivan

1948    3 Years in California.  Biobooks, Oakland, CA.


Buckbee, Edna Bryan

1932    Pioneer Days of Angels Camp.  Calaveras Californian, Angels Camp.

2005    Calaveras County Gold Rush Stories.  Edited by Wallace Motloch.  Calaveras County Historical Society, San Andreas. 


Calaveras County Board of Trade

c. 1895 Calaveras County, California.  Soil, Climate and General Resources.  Reprinted 1971 by the Calaveras Enterprise.


Calaveras County Historical Society

1986    An Album of the Pioneer Schools of Calaveras County.  Calaveras County Historical Society, San Andreas.

var.      Las Calaveras, the Quarterly Bulletin of the Calaveras County Historical Society.  San Andreas, California.


California Department of Parks and Recreation

1976    California Inventory of Historic Resources.  Department of Parks and Recreation, Sacramento.

2019    California Historical Landmarks by County.


Campbell, John Carden

1980    Houses of Gold.  Howell-North Books, San Diego, CA.


Carson, James H., Edited by Peter Browning

1991    Bright Gem of the Western Seas:  California 1846-1852.  Great West Books.


Castro, Kenneth M. and Doris Castro

1972    Murphys, California Short History and Guide.  Kenneth and Doris Castro, Murphys.


Clark, Walter Van Tilburg, Editor

1973    The Journals of Alfred Doten, 1849-1903.  University of Nevada Press, Reno, NV.


Clark, William B., and Philip A. Lydon

1962    Mines and Mineral Resources of Calaveras County, CaliforniaReport 2.  California Division of Mines and Geology, San Francisco.


Cook, Fred. S., Editor

n.d.      Legends of Calaveras County.  California Traveler, Inc., Volcano and Pioneer.


Copperopolis Community Center

1960    Copper Centennial, Pictorial Souvenir. Reprinted 1976 by Copperopolis Community Center. 


Costello, Julia G.

1983    Melones, A Story of a Stanislaus River Town. US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation.

1989    Historical and Archaeological Research at the Calaveras Big Tree Cottage Area.  Editor.  California Department of Parks and Recreation, Sacramento.

Deane, Dorothy Newell

1960    Sierra Railway.  Howell-North.  Berkeley, California. 


Demarest, D.C.

1951    A Bit of Mother Lode History, Angels Camp, Altaville, and Cherokee Flat.  D.C. Demarest, Oakland.


Doble, John, edited by Charles L. Camp

1962    John Doble’s Journal and Letters from the Mines, Mokelumne Hill, Jackson Volcano, and San Francisco.  1851-1865.  The Old West Publishing Company,  Denver, CO.


Dorroh, Fritzi Cuneo

2017    Tales of Calaveritas and Family.  Privately Published by the Author.


Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway Association (David Gano, Jan Hovey, Judith Marvin, Lisa Schwartz)

2010    Your Guide to the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway.  Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway Association. 


Elliott, Maureen L.

2018    They Walked the Streets of Murphys Camp.  Murphys Camp – The Buildings and the People Who Lived In Them.  Published by the Author.


Elliott, Wallace W.

1885    Calaveras County, Illustrated and Described.  W.W. Elliott, Oakland, California. Reprinted 1976 by the Calaveras County Historical Society, San Andreas.


Engbeck, Joseph H., Jr.

2013    The Enduring Giants, The Epic Story of Giant Sequoia and the Big Trees of Calaveras.  California State Parks, Sacramento, with the Big Trees Association.


Fuller, Willard P., Judith Marvin, and Julia G. Costello

1996    Madam Felix’s Gold: The Story of the Madam Felix Mining District, Calaveras County, California. Calaveras County Historical Society and Foothill Resources, Ltd.


Griffin, Patricia B.

2008    St. Patrick’s Church of Murphys, 150th Anniversary, 1868-2008.  A Sesquicentennial History.  Foothill Printing and Graphics, Angels Camp.


Gudde, Erwin G., Edited by Elisabeth K. Gudde

1975    California Gold Camps.  University of California Press, Berkeley.


Hamilton, Fletcher

1915    Mines and Mineral Resources of Amador County, Calaveras County, Tuolumne County.  State Mineralogist’s Report, Biennial Period 1913-1914.  California State Mining Bureau, San Francisco.


Harte, Bret

1872    The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Sketches, Illustrated.  Reprinted 1975 by The Filter Press, Palmer Lake, Colorado.


Heckendorn & Wilson

1856    Miners & Business Men’s Directory.  Clipper Office, Columbia, California.  Republished 1976 by the Donald I. Segerstrom Memorial Fund, Publication No. 2, Sonora.  


Hoover, Mildred Brooke, Hero Eugene Rensch, Ethel Grace Rensch, William N. Abeloe, Revised by Douglas E. Kyle

1990    Historic Spots in California.  Stanford University Press.  Originally published in 1948.


Hutchings, J.M.

1860    Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity, Calaveras County.  The Calaveras Enterprise, 1972.


Jackson, Joseph Henry, Editor in Chief

1949    Gold Rush Album.  Bonanza Books, New York.


Joy, Emmett P.

1972    Chronicles of San Andreas.  Old Timer’s Museum, Murphys.

1975    The Annals of Mokelumne Hill, The Story of a Veritable Gold Mountain.  Old Timer’s Museum, Murphys.


Jung, Eric

2010    Jedediah Smith, First Crossing of the Sierra Nevada, Hiked.  Jedidiah Smith Society, University of the Pacific, Stockton.


Kaler, Elizabeth

1977    Untold Tales of Murphys.  Old Timer’s Museum, Murphys.


Kirker, Harold

1986    California’s Architectural Frontier, Style and Tradition in the Nineteenth Century. Gibbs  M. Smith, Inc., Layton, Utah.


Kramer, Carol A., and Calaveras Big Trees Association

2010    Calaveras Big Trees.  Images of America Series, Arcadia Press, San Francisco. 


Krizek, John

2001    The Forgotten Journey;  The Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Saga.  Film for PBS and on DVD.  Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum, Sunnyvale, CA.


Leonard, Edward C.

1985    A Brief History of Angels Camp.  Old Timer’s Museum, Murphys.


Lewis Publishing Company

1892    A Memorial and Biographical History of Merced, Stanislaus, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa, California.  Illustrated.  The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago.


Limbaugh, Ronald H., and Willard P. Fuller, Jr.

2004    Calaveras Gold, The Impact of Mining on a Mother Lode County.  University of Nevada Press, Reno and Las Vegas. 


Long, Earnest, editor

1976    Trips to the Mines, Calaveras County 1857-1859.  Calaveras Heritage Council, San Andreas.


Mace, O. Henry

1991    Between the Rivers: A History of Early Calaveras County, California. Gold Country Enterprises, Sutter Creek, CA.

n.d.      Black Bart:  The Last Holdup.  Dramatis Personae Series, Book No. 1.  Gold Country Enterprises, Sutter Creek, CA.


Manna, Sal

2009-2014       Something from Nothing.  The Early History of West Calaveras County, Volumes1-V.  Society for the Preservation of West Calaveras History, Burson, CA.


Manna, Salvatore John

2017    Glorious Trees:  Alfred Russel Wallace in California.  Calaveras History Publishing, Burson, CA


Manna, Salvatore John and Terry Beaudoin

2014    Olives in California’s Gold Country.  Images of America Series.  Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco, CA.


Manna, Salvatore John, and Shannon Dixon Van Zant

2017    Brands of Calaveras County 1854-1880.  Calaveras History Publishing, Burson, CA.

2018    Brands of Calaveras County 1881-1913.  Calaveras History Publishing, Burson, CA.


Marvin, Judith

2005    Around Murphys, Images of America Series.  Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco, California.


Marvin, Judith, Julia Costello, and Salvatore Manna

2007    Northern Calaveras County. Images of America Series.  Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco, California.

2009    Angels Camp and Copperopolis, Images of America Series.  Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco, California.


National Register of Historic Places

2019    National Register of Historic Places in California.


Navarro, Ramón Gil

2000    The Gold Rush Diary of Ramón Gil Novarro.  University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.


Perkins, William, Introduction and Annotations by Dale L. Morgan & James R. Scobie

1964    Three Years in California.  William Perkins Journal of Life at Sonora, 1849- 1852.  University of California Press, Berkley


Pierce, Marjorie

2000    The Martin Murphy Family Saga. Local History Studies Volume 38. The California History Center & Foundation, Cupertino, CA. 


Rude, Mary Frances Damon

2006    Sheep Ranch of the Eighteen Nineties.  Pleasant Word, Emenclaw, WA.


Ruppel, Margaret Gaylord

1946    El Rancheria Del Rio Estanislaus.  Reprinted 1992 by McHenry Museum Press, Modesto.


Schmidt, Earl F.

1989    The Big Tree – Carson Valley Emigrant Road, A Major Branch of the California Trail.  Mooney Flat Ventures, Murphys, California. 

n.d.      Who Were the Murphys, California’s Irish First Family.  Earl F. Schmidt, Murphys. Republished by the Old Timer’s Museum, Murphys.


Stone, Rhoda and Charles  

1991    The Tools are on the Bar: The History of Copperopolis, Calaveras County, California. Privately printed by the authors.


Taylor, Ray

1973    Native Son of the Mother Lode (Ray Jeff).  Ray Taylor, Murphys.


Twain, Mark

1871    Roughing It.  Harper & Row, New York, San Francisco, and London, 1913. 

1903    The Jumping Frog, in English, then in French, then Clawed Back into a Civilized Language Once More by Patient Unremunerated Toil.  Republished 1971 by Dover Publications, Inc., New York.


Twain, Mark, Written and Compiled by James Fletcher.

2015    Mark Twain’s 88 Days in the Mother Lode & Stories of the Gold Rush.  Manzanita Writers Press, Angels Camp. 


Vallecito School Fourth Grade Class, Wanda Richards, Compiler and Editor.

1973    Vallecito, California  A History of Vallecito California Since. 1848.  Vallecito School, Calaveras County.


Weston, Otheto

1948    Mother Lode Album.  Stanford University Press.


Wilson, Arthur

1959    My Life and Boyhood Days in West Point.  Ms. on file, Calaveras County Archives, San Andreas.


Wood, R. Coke

1952    Murphys, Queen of the Sierra.  Old Timer's Museum, Murphys.      

1955    Calaveras, the Land of Skulls.  Mother Lode Press, Sonora.

1960    The Last Days of the Old O’Byrnes Ferry Covered Bridge.  Old Timer’s Museum, Murphys.

1960    Big Tree Bulletin, Historical and Botanical Facts about the North and South Grove of the Calaveras Big Trees.  Old Timer’s Museum, Murphys.

n.d.      Murphys Diggins and other Short Stories.  Old Timer’s Museum, Murphys.


Wood. R. Coke, Frances E. Bishop, Collaborator

1968    Big Tree – Carson Valley Turnpike, Ebbetts Pass and Highway 4.  Old Timer’s Museum, Murphys.


Wood, R. Coke, and Leonard Covello

1979    Mother Lode Memories.  A Pictorial History.  Valley Publishers, Fresno, CA.


Woodbridge, Sally B.

1988    California Architecture, Historic American Buildings Survey.  Chronicle Books, San Francisco.


Zumwalt, Eve Starcevich

1990    The Romance of Mokelumne Hill.  Pioneer Publishing Co., Fresno.