The Mariposa County Courthouse was built in 1854 using local lumber and is the oldest continuously used courthouse in the state. It was built using a Greek Revival style of architecture. A number of landmark mining cases were tried here and much of the mining law in the United States is based on decisions handed down from this court. There was a fire-proof brick vault added to the building in 1861. The English Clock, with a 267 pound bell was installed in 1866. The bell has sounded out the hour every since its installation. Most of the interior of the courtroom looks just as it did when it was first built.
For the second year in a row we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast away from the maddening crowds. Last year we stayed about 20 miles outside of the more popular area of Asheville, North Carolina in Waynesville, North Carolina and found the town to be quite charming with its unique blend of non chain restaurants and artsy stores to browse and yes buy a couple of things.
This year we stayed about 35 miles from the entrance to Yosemite National Park in a Bed and Breakfast outside of Mariposa. We had dinner in town our first and second nights in town and after our big day at Yosemite and before we checked out the Giant Sequoias further south we decided to spend the morning just browsing around the town.
On our first evening in town, before our dinner was served, Sue had gone next door to the bookstore where she purchased a couple of area postcards. When we went back 2 days later we both browsed the store and came away with a Yosemite print. Among the number of stores were places to buy art, a women's fine apparel shop, wine tasting, antiques and a number of small independent shops with a lot of friendly people.
We were there a few days before Halloween in the low season, so we pretty much had the town to ourselves. It was a very enjoyable way to spend a quiet Friday morning.
This is an old map I still had. Sorry it didn't scan right, but be my guest and to check out the following web site below. It is the best site I think. They're are two others, but I like this one. It gives much more details of the things to see and do and where to find the location much easier. So check it out please! We enjoyed out time there because of the friendly folks and great weather. We couldn't had asked for better weather that whole time. It was wonderful to stroll around and check out all the neat shops.
Mariposa is known for whats called the Mother Lode. By 1849 a mass immigaration of fortune seekers arrived in the new frontier and the gold strike changed the coarse of our nations history.
The Mining and mineral exhibit features the "Fricot Nugget". A gold nugget that weighs almost 13 pounds. A real mine to venture through, Benotite - The state gem, Metorites from space and so mich more. There is much to see hear and this is a must go while in ther area.
On our first morning at Poppy Hill Bed and Breakfast outside of Mariposa I woke up as I usually do with the sun. At this time of year it was a little before 7:00 a.m. Since Sue is a later sleeper since she has to get up at 5:00 a.m. when she works, I quietly got out of bed, got dressed and decided to explore a little bit of the area around the Bed and Breakfast.
Immediately when I got out the front door I turned left and saw 2 deer staring at me. That's not too unusual even for a boy from Illinois. As I hiked further up the dirt and gravel road I came upon a few other homes, an old bathtub and a few old cars. Now in our neighborhood there are obvious restrictions about leaving rusty old bathtubs and cars on our property as they would offend the neighbors, but out here they kind of give the surroundings a civilized look. Anyway, I captured those 2 pictures for my personal and VT photo album.
As I walked further up the road I heard some rustling off to the side and a gobbling noise and soon there after a gaggle of wild turkeys fluttered out in front of me. Not knowing that I only wanted to shoot them with my camera instead of a more lethal gun, they scurried off as quick as they could but not before I was able to get off a couple of shots (from the camera that is).
Venturing a little bit further up the road I did hear a shotgun in the distance, so someone was doing a little different type of shooting.
Finally at the end of this road there was a really nice home and to the left there was a pitted dirt road going up a bit more steeply into the unknown. OK, I said to myself, let's see where that will go. I started up the road and probably got about 20 feet before I heard a growling sound. Now being a city/suburban boy I knew that it wasn't a dog, but probably something a bit bigger then I wanted to see that morning, so I slowly backed down the road and like the turkeys before me scurried away as quick as I could.
Later that morning at breakfast I mentioned my walk to Mary Ellen and she said it probably could have been a mountain lion or black bear. More then likely the bear since she had seen one a few days earlier. Whew, glad the next day morning headlines didn't read, vacationer found mauled up on Wild Dove Road.
Mariposa is also the location of the California State Mining and Mineral Museum, recognized as one of the best museums in the state. This museum has a collection of over 13,000 items relating to the California Gold Rush and other historical items relating to the mining and minerals in California. This is where John C. Fremont and Kit Carson discovered the rich Mariposa vein and established the first mill to crush ore and extract gold in the state. Other items on display include a 13.8 pound nugget of crystalized gold, a gold mine tunnel, and a scale model working stamp mill. Hours are 10 AM to 4 PM Thursday through Sunday 1 October to 30 April, and 10 AM to 5 PM Thursday through Sunday 1 May to 30 September. Admission is $4 for adults and children under 12 are free.
Mariposa still has its old county jail, a small, one-room stone strcuture on a bluff above downtown. Built in 1858, it was used as the county jail until 1963, when replaced by a newer building near the courthouse.
Another convenient stroll is the Mariposa Creek walkway. It begins at Best Western and ends about halfway through town. You will enjoy a nice stroll up Mariposa Creek and along the way get to browse at the local foliage including the Claifornia Poppy. All of the flowers and bushes are labeled.
Also within walking distance of any hotel. Built on 1858 of 24 inch thick granite block. The granite came from a quarry in the Mormon Bar area. Originally it was built with two full stories and a flat roof but after a fire in 1892 was rebuilt with one story and a loft type second story with a gabled roof. Gallows were built in the rear of the building and the last hanging was around 1879.
Much like many other things to do this is within walking distance of any hotel in the town of Mariposa. The courthouse was built in 1854. Is is State of California Historical Landmark No. 670 and is on the National register of Historic Landmarks.
It is Grecian style architechture. There are State and Nationla Plaques mounted on large pieces of Mariposite in the front of the building. Brick vaults on either side built in 1861 and 1891. Inside you will find the hallway of history. This tells all about Mariposa County and it's chnages over the years. It tells of all of the Superior Court Judges from beginning to current. Upstairs you will find the very well perserved still used main court room. There is an old wood stove in the center!
This is a must see for historical seekers!
The Mariposa courthouse was built by John C. Fremont in 1854 and is not only the oldest courthouse in California, but also the oldest courthouse in continuous use west of the Rockies.
This old hotel building was built in 1859. It is one of the most prominent historic buildings not only in the town, but the whole county.