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Jenny Lind

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Jenny Lind, photograph reportedly dating to 1856. (Courtesy Calaveras Co. Historical Society).

Situated on the road leading from Stockton to the Southern Mines, this town on the north bank of the Calaveras River was first called Dry Diggins at the dawn of the Gold Rush and served as a convenient waystation for freighters and mule teams. In the early 1850s, the town was renamed Jenny Lind, partly for pioneer Dr. John Y. Lind and partly for the far more famous singer Jenny Lind, though the Swedish Nightingale never set foot there. Placer mining prospered on the river, mainly by the area’s large Chinese population, for only a short time and in the early 1900s, gold dredging operations moved in until they diminished with World War II. Though Jenny Lind’s heyday is long past, a handful of buildings still stand as reminders of a rambunctious history.

by Sal Manna, 2010