JSCNHM home • Spring 2012 • vol. 4 no. 2

Amador County

Photo Gallery (.mov)

Amador County Archives

12200B Airport Road
Jackson, CA 95642
Phone: (209) 223-6389
Email: archivesdept@amadorgov.org
Website: http://www.co.amador.ca.us/index.aspx?page=525

The mission of the Amador County Archives is to acquire, preserve, exhibit and provide access to records, photographs, manuscripts, and memorabilia that compose the rich history of the Amador County government and its citizens.

The Archives houses various records, including but not limited to: local county government, mining, naturalization, probate, inquests, local families, Amador County newspapers, oral histories, a wide assortment of maps, including all original townsite and County maps, mining maps, and a complete set of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. The photo collection includes, but is not limited to: buildings, mines, businesses, families, schools, logging, aerials, as well as hundreds of other items covering all aspects of Amador County history.

Amador County Historical Society

One Main Street, Suite A
Jackson, CA 95642
Phone: (209) 257-1485
Email: digshistory@volcano.net
Website: http://www.amadorcountyhistoricalsociety.org/

The purpose of the Amador County Historical Society is to identify and preserve items of historical interest of Amador County for its residents and the public, and to educate and increase public awareness, as well as enlist public support, for historical preservation in Amador County.

The Society was founded in the summer of 1948 by dedicated residents who saw the value of preserving the rich history of the County since its inception during California's Gold Rush. At the same time, the Society founded the Amador County Museum and the Amador County Archives, but later was able to convince the County government to take over both of these entities.

Amador County Library (Main Branch)

530 Sutter Street
Jackson, CA 95642
Phone: (209) 223-6400
Website: http://www.co.amador.ca.us/index.aspx?page=270

The Amador County Library is a service-oriented network of community libraries, a main library, branches, and outreach services providing books, information and other resources for people of all ages in our diverse communities.

Amador County Museum

225 Church Street
Jackson, CA 95642
Phone: (209) 223-6386
Website: http://www.co.amador.ca.us/index.aspx?page=280

The Amador County Museum was built as a home in 1859 by Armstead C. Brown, one of Jackson's earliest settlers. This classic Greek Revival-styled dwelling sits atop Corral or Courthouse hill overlooking downtown Jackson.

Entering the museum is a step back in time. It features a fascinating array of artifacts and items from the county's early days as a neglected "province" of Calaveras, the formation of Amador in 1854, and present-day displays and exhibits. Visitors may wander through the many unusual exhibits that fill the 15-room home, with nostalgic background music setting the right restful ambiance.

The museum collections include: a "Gold History Exhibit," "Dressed to the Nines" or fashions of the past; a sewing and quilt exhibit; a Victorian bedroom and parlor; a Native American collection; a Chinese American collection; an old fashioned school room and much more.

Fiddletown Preservation Society, Inc.

P.O. Box 53
Fiddletown, CA 95629
Phone: (209) 245-6042
Email: vpresident@fiddletown.info
Website: http://www.fiddletown.info/

The small hamlet of Fiddletown in Amador County began as a mining camp during the height of the Gold Rush. By 1853 evolved into a trading center supplying nearby mining camps, reaching a population of 2,000. Its once large Chinese community eventually composed half of the total population of the town, and was active from the 1850s through the early 20th Century.

The Fiddletown Preservation Society (FPS), a nonprofit organization, came into being in 1964 over the issue of saving Fiddletown’s one-room schoolhouse, closed since 1955. In conjunction with its mission "to preserve, maintain and restore the historical buildings, records, and relics of Fiddletown," the organization successfully nominated eighteen historic sites in Fiddletown for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fiddletown is unique in having four remaining structures from the late 1850s affiliated with the Chinese. The Chew Kee herb store, filled with artifacts from one hundred years of continuous Chinese residency, is owned by Amador County and operated by the FPS as a museum, open from April through October. The FPS received the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award in 1989 for completing a grant project to preserve the Chew Kee Store.

In 2001, the FPS launched the Fiddletown ROCS (Restoration of Chinese Structures) project to save the Chinese Gambling Hall and Chinese General Store from collapse. In 2008, exterior preservation was accomplished on both these buildings, garnering the 2010 Governor’s Historic Preservation Award.

The Fiddletown Preservation Society's current project is to restore the 1862 Fiddletown Schoolhouse, in need of a new foundation. See www.fiddletown.info for more information.

Friends of the Amador County Library

P.O. Box 701
Jackson, CA 95642
Phone: (209) 296-5541
Website: http://www.friendsoftheamadorcountylibrary.org/

The Friends of the Amador County Library (FACL) was formed in 1974 to support the Amador County Library. This includes the main Jackson Library and the branches in Ione, Pioneer, Pine Grove, and Plymouth. All branches benefit from help provided by our organization.

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park

14881 Pine Grove-Volcano Road
Pine Grove, CA 95665
Phone: (209) 296-7488
Website: http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=553

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park (IGR) is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills twelve miles east of Jackson. The park nestles in a little valley 2,400 feet above sea level with open meadows and large valley oaks that once provided the Native Americans of this area with an ample supply of acorns.

The park was created in 1968 and preserves a great outcropping of marbleized limestone with some 1,185 mortar holes—the largest collection of bedrock mortars in North America.

Kennedy Mine Foundation

P.O. Box 684
Jackson, CA 95642
Phone: (209) 223-9542
Email: info@kennedygoldmine.com
Website: http://www.kennedygoldmine.com/

The Kennedy Mine, famous for being one of the deepest gold mines in the world (at 5912 feet), demonstrates how gold changed an entire way of life in California. Prospected in 1860, reorganized in 1886 and continuously run until 1942, the Kennedy Gold Mine produced approximately $34,280,000 in gold according to the California Department of Conservation. One of the tallest head frames in existence today can be seen at the Kennedy Mine. The mine also had one of the largest stamp mills in the Mother Lode, moving tailings by means of huge wooden wheels, some of which are still standing.

Knight Foundry Corporation

P.O. Box 1776
Sutter Creek, CA 95685
Phone: (209) 267-5967
Email: 4edgars@msn.com

The Knight Foundry Corporation is a California public benefit corporation (educational non-profit) that is tax exempt under IRS 501(c)(3).

The primary objectives and purposes of the Corporation are to preserve the Knight Foundry Historic Water-Powered Iron Works for posterity as a preservation skills training center for traditional industrial metal-working crafts, as an operating historic industry, and as a living history educational experience for the public.

Preston Castle Foundation

P.O. Box 488
Ione, CA 95640
Email: info@prestoncastle.com
Website: http://www.prestoncastle.com/

Preston Castle is California State Historic Landmark Number 867 and is on the National register of Historic Places. The Castle is the most significant example of Romanesque Revival architecture in the Mother Lode region, and is a major landmark of Iona and Amador County.

The intent of this building was to house the Preston School of Industry as a Progressive action toward rehabilitating youthful offenders, rather than just simply imprisoning them in San Quentin or Folsom prisons. Preston Castle operated from 1894 to 1960. In 2001, the Preston Castle Foundation received a fifty-five year lease on the Castle.

The Mission of the Preston Castle Foundation is to preserve, rehabilitate, and utilize the historic Preston Castle site.



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