Sonora California Seal

Stagecoach Robbery Was Well Planned

Sonora, like many of the old mining towns, had its share of stagecoach robberies. One that took place in November 1881, was described in the Tuolumne Independent. Early one Monday morning, at half past five o’clock, the stage on the Sonora and Milton line was stopped by four highwaymen, two miles this side of the…
Sonora California Seal

Spanish Flu Called for Extreme Measures

Sonora, like so many communities in the Fall of 1918, did not escape the deadly effects of the Spanish Influenza that raged through the country. Each week, The Union Democrat listed those who were sick, had recovered or had died from the dreaded disease. The deadly cases would begin with the flu and quickly turn…

Sonora Once Had a Seamier Side

Like many Gold Rush communities, Sonora was known for its seamier side as well as for a more civilized society. Prostitution was practiced somewhat openly from the city’s founding until the 1950s when the federal government instructed the city fathers either to clean up the town or the federal government would. The first official reference…

Foreign Miners’ Tax Costly to Sonora

In April of 1850, both branches of the California State Legislature passed the Foreign Miners’ Tax which stated that “foreign” born miners would have to pay $20 per month for the privilege of mining. Because many foreigners had come to Sonora, especially the French, Germans, Mexicans and Chileans, this new law created a great deal…

Sonora’s First Hanging a Group Effort

On Thursday, June 26, 1851, James Hill, a desperate fellow, altogether too lazy to aspire to the dishonor of a full fledged desperado, entered the store of B. A. Mardis in Campo Seco armed with a revolver in one hand and a Bowie knife in the other. Mardis was in his bunk at the time…
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