Sonora California Seal

The World Rushed In

According to Enos Christman, editor of the Sonora Herald, the first newspaper in the Southern Mines, Sonora received more than its share of the unparalleled tide of cultural dissimilitude. In 1851 – using some of the derogatory terms that reflected the prevailing attitudes of the Gold Rush – Christman described the eclectic human potpourri as…
Sonora California Seal

The County Fair

(The Gold Dust is a compilation of the writings of Ora Moss Morgan Sonora, Ca 1933 – 1950) So we are going to have a County Fair – what a fine thing that will be _ exhibits of our country products – a horse show – with prizes and everything! Why – just the name…
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…

So Long Ago

It seemed that I was in the bottom of the sea. The water was a deep, pretty green and swimming all around were many wiggling things. They were really quite beautiful because as they swan you would catch a glimmer of gold on their scales. It was a pretty place but I felt uncomfortable all…

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…

The Patent Medicine Troupe

It is a far cry from the frocked pharmacists of today to the medicine shows that rattled into town with their glitter and glamour in Sonora’s days of yesterday. Today’s remedies may be more scientific, but there certainly was greater lure in being charmed into the purchase of some nostrum by the silver tongue of…

Our Home

Our home was a white, two story house with a basement. It had twelve rooms with an attic along one side of the house. The attic was very dark and we imagined all kinds of bad creatures lived in there. When my folks sold the house, the man who bought it found a cache of…

October Days

October days – tawny with sunshine and purple – the odor of burning leaves – how just this little thing awakens memories of childhood days – raking and burning leaves in all the yards in the old neighborhood – the air thick with smoke – it was on Saturday and the children helped. How we…

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…
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