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Iron Shutters

May contain: path, walkway, door, pavement, sidewalk, and wall

Iron shutters were placed over doors and windows of Mother Lode buildings primarily for fire prevention and also for deterring theft. However, it was regular catastrophic fires that prompted construction of stone, adobe, and brick buildings secured with iron shutters. Ceilings were commonly layered under roofs, with a foot or more of earth to prevent fires from burning downward. In Mokelumne Hill, the fire of 1854 destroyed most of the business district resulting in prudent rebuilding with locally quarried rhyolite. Many of these historic structures still stand and anchor the town’s Historic District. (Sturges Building, Mokelumne Hill)