Taste Calaveras Wines
I was surprised to see so many vineyards in this area. Visiting "wineries and tasting rooms" sems a popular weekend activity with some of my American friends and relations.
There were many such opportunities on Main Street where I counted 10 or more. We
did not stop there for a taste but instead bought a bottle to take home to drink with a meal.
Museum wall covered with plaques
I was heading for the Old Timers Museum housed in the Traver Building. Built in 1856 it is the oldest stone building in town and because of its solid structure and iron shuttered windows was one of the few that survived the fire of 1859 that destroted most of the businesses on Main St.
The Museum was closed - it only opens Friday to Saturday - but I spotted a very unusal sight on the side wall of the building.
Known as the Wall of Comparative Vitus it was the established by a group of fun-loving, public spirited men in 1851. They named their association The Ancient and Honourable Order of E Clampus Vitus.
Perhaps they did not qualify for the Odd Fellows or for the Masonic movement or perhaps found thier proceedings too stuffy.
The primary objective of the group was to care for the widows and familes of miners who had been killed or serioulsy injured in the Californian mine fields.. The fun side grew as well providing these hard working men with an outlet to enjoy a bit of absurb merriment. Plaques commeroration both real and serious achievements were clamped to the wall side by side with absurd . humourous citations to known and unknown individuals.
The organisation still exsists but members now devote their energy to the placement of historical markers ensuring the history of the west is preserved throughout the State.
Take a walk up and down Main St.
There is plenty to keep you occupied for several hours - even allowing that early in the season not all facilities were open on a Wednesday.
Thankfully not one branch of any of the fast food chain outlets to be seen along Main St. instead you will find individual eateries, - from pizza to gourmet, wine tasting outlets, boutique style shops, historic buildings and hotels, art galleries and craft shops - and more.
The many excellent mounted plaques make possible a self guided historical tour.
Strolling the streets of downtown Murphys, one can enjoy the atmosphere of a 19th century Gold Rush town, still well-preserved.
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Murphys Old Timers Museum
This is a little museum on local history and the Gold Rush. It's in an old stone building on Main Street.
- Historical Travel
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