Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member heringermr
N 38° 01.307 W 120° 24.765
10S E 727105 N 4211390
Quick Description: A historical marker placed for the historic Gold Rush town of Springfield along the Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 6/13/2014 7:02:37 AM
Waymark Code: WMKY6K
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 0

Long Description:
Springfield, only a mile from Columbia, received little attention in historical records of Gold Country characters, stories and riches. However, the miners of Springfield carted away nearly $85 million of gold out of Columbia in the 1850s. The area was so rich with gold, residents recall as many as 150 carts filled with dirt moving along the road between Columbia and Springfield. Miners brought their carts to the creek to sift and wash the dirt to find the hidden gold nuggets.

The city was also one of only four communities in Tuolumne County to be incorporated during the Gold Rush era. Conflicting stories have surfaced regarding the founding of Springfield. Some accounts attribute Donna Josefa, who recruited people to populate the emerging community. Other area residents say the name came from periodic flooding of the meadows from Mormon Creek. That led to the name “Spring flooding the Field.”

Springfield offered its 2,000 residents an emerging infrastructure similar to other Gold Rush era towns. In 12 blocks, the town offered 200 lots and included a store, a saloon, a hotel, two churches, a school and a post office. Springfield set itself apart because residents also led a Temperance Society, debating society and a Cotillion Club. These societies added a unique cultural element for the young men and women, while protesting the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol and the many saloons where it was served was a mainstay of most Gold Rush towns throughout the Mother Lode.

The plaque reads:

Springfield received name from the abundant springs gushing from limestone boulders. The town with its stores, shops, and hotel built around a plaza once boasted 2,000 inhabitants. Believed founded by Donna Josefa Valmesada, Mexican woman of means with reputation for aiding Americans in the war with Mexico. During heyday, 150 miners' carts could be seen on the road, hauling gold-bearing dirt to Springfield springs for washing.
Marker Number: 432.00


County: Tuolumne

Has Official CA Plaque: no

Marker Dedication Date: 3/16/1949

At intersection of Springfield and Horseshoe Bend Rds, 1.1 mi SW of Columbia

Website: [Web Link]

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