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  1. #1
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,689
    46 times

    El Dorado California Volcanoville

    Forgotten now are the thousand or more places where much of El Dorado County’s history was written. In mining camps and towns such as… Hell Roaring Diggings, Loafer’s Hollow, Whiskey Flat, George’s Town, and Poverty Flat. The names of other camps frequently told you much about who was mining there… Chile Bar (Chileans), Kanakatown (Hawaiians), Frenchtown, Alabama Flat, Texas Bar, Cooley Mine (Chinese), Indian Diggings, Mormon Gulch, even Puritan Camp. Forever consigned to the records of time each of these camps had it’s own unique and often colorful history. One such place is the ghost town of Volcanoville where tales of it’s past includes mining, and buried treasures.

    It was here during the days of the California Gold Rush when the Volcanoville boasted a lively population of thousands, including a large Chinatown. In the cemetery, two headstones remain which speak of the town’s past. The tombstones tell of two 49ers interred here -- both youths had been murdered for their miner’s poke by Gold Rush highwaymen.

    Located in N.W. El Dorado County, Volcanoville sits just south of the Middle Fork of the American River. Today telephone poles along Volcanoville Road mark the edge of progress - stopping just short of the old town site where few old buildings stand in defiance of encroaching development.
    Treasures

    It was during the mid-1870’s when Volcanoville saw a serious decline in mining as many quartz mines played out. With gold more difficult to find, anger and hate for all non-Anglos in the diggings became a hot subject. Most Chinese were now working in the larger cities in Northern California, for those who remained in the Mother Lode they suffered the most since they represented competition to White miners. Such was the case in 1874 when Chinese miners discovered a 10 oz. pure gold nugget on their claim at the Cooley (Chinese) Mine in Volcanoville ....

    One evening a group of miners gathered at a local saloon where their conversation turned towards the dreaded Chinese. With enough liquor, words quickly turned to action leading to the massacre of at least 15 Chinese that night. The Chinese miners were rounded up by the drunks and herded into a cabin. With the Chinese locked inside, the cabin was set a fire. Those who died in the inferno were only spared a bullet; those who ran from the flames and thick smoke were quickly gunned downed in flight. None survived.

    While many Chinese were mining along the Middle Fork of the American River one group of 12 from Volcanoville was buried alive in a cave-in during the 1890’s. By the time aid reached the men they had died from suffocation.

    Another story from Volcanoville tells of a wealthy Chinese store owner who ran a thriving general store. He sold out to another China man and himself returned to China. For years he remained in his homeland before returning to Volcanoville. He claimed he returned to retrieve a cache of gold he’d hidden years earlier. A major fire had destroyed much of the town in 1879 which left the older former store owner with no landmarks to guide him to his treasure. He returned several times over the next several years looking for his lost cache but never found it.

    For years treasure hunters have sought to answer the question of the lost Chinese caches buried in and around Volcanoville.

    Volcanoville was founded as a small trading post in 1851 but grew into a large prospering Gold Rush town by 1855. Other industry in the area included a steam driven sawmill and tannery at Mt. Gregory. Volcanoville became a voting prescient in 1854 and established it own Post Office in 1858. Mining became prosperous here again during the 1880’s and remained so through the 1890’s supporting a twenty-stamp mill. At that time the largest working quartz mine was the Josephine. As most of the town’s residents were employees of the Josephine Mine, in 1895 the Post Office changed the name of the town from Volcanoville to Josephine. The Josephine Post Office operated until discontinued in 1917. The town saw two devastating fires, the first in 1879 then again in 1907. All of the remaining original buildings to survive the 1879 fire were destroyed in the 1907 fire. A small community re-established itself here but the town never recovered.

    See a pic of Volcanoville
    __________________________

    Sources:
    Hughey, Richard, El Dorado – California’s Empire County, (Placerville, CA., El Dorado Museums Commission, 2003) p. 155

    Couture, J.A., Ghost Town Treasure, Treasure Quest Magazine, August - September 1973

    Terry, Thomas P., U.S. Treasure Atlas, (La Crosse, WI., Specialty Publishing Co., 1985) p. 131
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  2. #2

    Jun 2007
    28

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    What a coincidence. I grew up in the Georgetown, Placerville area of California. I know exactly where Volcanoville is as well as a lot of the other places that you mentioned. I used to swim and fish at chile bar when I was younger.
    Take care
    Bruce jr

  3. #3
    TreasureTales

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    The Mother Lode is filled with colorful history and fanciful names for its towns. My personal favorite: Fiddletown. And another favorite is Smartville. Although I don't know off hand if those two towns are in El Dorado County (might be in Nevada County). Many county boundaries have changed through the years, so it would be wise for any would-be treasure hunters to keep that in mind when doing research.

  4. #4

    Jun 2007
    28

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    I have heard of Fiddletown, but never been there. I have been to Volcanoville several times. My mother used to sell real estate around the Volcanoville area. I have seen this town listed as a ghost town but I can assure you that Volcanoville is not a ghost town, although the last time I was there there was no running water or electrical service. Mostly people looking to escape from the "rat race" were the local inhabitants.
    I truly wish I was living back in El Dorado county right now instead of out here in Michigan, all my family is in the El Dorado county area. What a beautiful area.
    Bruce jr

  5. #5
    The Hangman

    May 2005
    Hangtown, California
    53
    1 times

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    Hey Gypsyheart its been a long time. We swapped info. on the Dillinger suitcase cache many moons ago. Thanks for posting my article on Volcanoville, in El Dorado County! I can't recall when I wrote the article but I took that photo
    (the lower one) at least two years ago. I'm curious where you can across the story? Keep up the great work!!

    Best regards,
    Anthony M. Belli 8)
    Anthony M. Belli

  6. #6
    mx
    Nov 2004
    Alamos,Sonora,Mexico
    10,712
    1491 times

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    HI Gypsy mi LUV, MY father was born in 'rough & Ready, The only town to secede from the Union, however they were bought bk by a keg of beer. Even had their own flag for a day or so.

    I was raised in Grass Valley where my father and his brother worked at the Idaho / Maryland mine.

    You might say my roots are in the mother lode.

    Don Jose de La Mancha
    "I exist to live, not live to exist"

  7. #7
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,689
    46 times

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    Quote Originally Posted by The-Hangman
    Hey Gypsyheart its been a long time. We swapped info. on the Dillinger suitcase cache many moons ago. Thanks for posting my article on Volcanoville, in El Dorado County! I can't recall when I wrote the article but I took that photo
    (the lower one) at least two years ago. I'm curious where you can across the story? Keep up the great work!!

    Best regards,
    Anthony M. Belli 8)
    Great story and wonderful pics...You need to get more out there..Which one is yours .....I have been going through alot of old magazines and clippings lately....when I was younger I used to fill scrap books with pages of treasures and ghost towns.....now I regret that as I ripped them from the magazine....LOL
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  8. #8
    The Hangman

    May 2005
    Hangtown, California
    53
    1 times

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    Gypsyheart,
    I wrote the Volcanoville story several years ago and the lower pic (of the old house) is mine. If you read Lost Treasure you'd see many of my articles and stories every month... I'm now writing the State Treasure Tales & News each month and it is something I've always wanted to do since I began reading the magazine over 20 years ago. Of course 20 years ago I was in better health & better shape and could be found digging holes throughout the southwest. I love the desert and live in the mountains these days and being retired from law enforcement enjoy all of it. I just don't get out as much these days, but am making plans to visit some old Gold Rush ghost towns up north and will be writing about my experiences, the history of the towns I visit and there tales of lost treasures to run in 2008! I also plan to visit a few in Nevada when it cools down some. Who knows maybe I'll kick over a stone and find some treasure! Or get bite by a snake. What the hell its all part of the fun. Just wanted to say "Hi" and thank you for putting up that old Volcanoville story. I always enjoy reading your posts. Best wishes and best of luck on the hunt girl. Take care.

    Happy Hunting,
    The Hangman 8)
    aka: Anthony Belli
    Anthony M. Belli

  9. #9
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
    12,689
    46 times

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    Anthony
    Thanks for writing it. Do you have any other pics you could add or any further reflections on the area? Fantastic story and research. Thank you! Do not get bit by a snake!!!!

    HH
    Christy

    Did you not get my pm's a week ago or so?
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  10. #10
    The Hangman

    May 2005
    Hangtown, California
    53
    1 times

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    Oops - I got PM's. I'll have to figure out how that works. I have some other pics I can post or send to you.

    HM

    ps. - Its Aug. 14th I will figure out how to find my PM's and get back to you. I am not all that active on here
    Anthony M. Belli

  11. #11

    Jun 2007
    28

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    Hang-Man,
    How long have you lived in Placerville, Ca? I ask because I spent the better part of my life growing up around the Placerville, Camino, Pollock Pines, and Garden Valley areas. From age to young to remember to about 30 years old. I live in Michigan now, but all my relatives live around those areas. I went to Pinewood Elementary school, and El Dorado High school. Heck for all I know, I might even know you or your relatives. My father has been around those parts for the better part of his life. I wish I was back there oftenly. I left due to way high cost of housing in Ca, and other various reasons. I miss all the woodlands and mountains. Michigan is not completely flat, but damm close to it.
    Bruce jr

  12. #12
    The Hangman

    May 2005
    Hangtown, California
    53
    1 times

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    Hi Bruce, I'm glad to hear from you. It seems like on every forum I'm a member of I get the same emails... people are always from here and currently "mis-placed" to some other locale in the US... and always miss this area and want to come back. Truly in the past month I must have had 6 or more similar forum posts. With that let me say I feel blessed to be here. I'm located just a few blocks from where you went to school at Pinewood. I've been in Pollock for 16 - 17 years, moved here in 92. I had never heard of Pollock and pulled off 50 at Snowline one day and before leaving town that day (It was a Tuesday in late Feb. 92) I rented a house, then went home, packed and moved here and I'm still here. At the time I was living in L.A. where I was born, and will never return. Ever!

    I'm retired from law enforcement and write for Lost Treasure magazine and have no plans to re-locate again, I really love it here. Being in the gold country also provides me with tons of material to write about as well as some recreational time to learn dredging and do some fishing. I wrote a book on lost, buried and sunken treasure of the Lake Tahoe region and I'm now working on my second book. Heres the link to my Tahoe book: http://www.lulu.com/anthony-belli

    And heres a pic of my BlaZeR2 last winter which will no doubt bring back some fond memories of home for you.

    If you're ever get back in the area give me a PM / email and we'll get to gather and maybe go find some old Chinese caches of gold!

    Happy Hunting,
    Hangman 8)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Anthony M. Belli

  13. #13

    Jun 2007
    28

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    Hangman,
    I believe I know exactly where your house is. The picture did stir some very fond memories of the Pollock Pines area. I am planning on making it back out there in the next years time. It has been way to long since I have seen my family. I will make sure to look you up when I get back that way. The last time I was out there Volcanoville was not a ghost town. My mother actually sold some property in Volcanoville and when I was there there were people living there. I used to live in Georgetown and as you know that is not to far from Volcanoville. When I make it back there for good I really want to do some dredgeing and panning on the American River.
    Take care and happy hunting
    Bruce jr

  14. #14
    The Hangman

    May 2005
    Hangtown, California
    53
    1 times

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    Sounds great Bruce, I'm looking forward to it! Its hard to believe you could figure out where the pic was taken seeing how everything is covered in snow, but I guess its a Pollock thing. LOL

    Happy Hunting,
    Hangman
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Anthony M. Belli

  15. #15

    Jun 2007
    28

    Re: El Dorado California Volcanoville

    Well I did spend most of my youth and teenage years roaming all around that area. As a matter of fact I grew up living in the cabins right behind the 13 mile post store. I do not know if they are there anymore or not. I used to fish at forebay pond. I used to dig quartz crystals out of the hillside on the way down to the American River. My Dad told me when I moved away that a person can move away from that area but they will always return at some point. Once you have been there you can not get it out of your system as you full well know.
    Bruce jr

 

 
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