Birthplace of Archie Stevenot (No. 769 California Historical Landmark)
California Historical Landmarks Program
Historical Landmarks are sites, buildings, features, or events that are of statewide significance and have anthropological, cultural, military, political, architectural, economic, scientific or technical, religious, experimental, or other value. Historical Landmarks are eligible for registration if they meet at least one of the following criteria:
1) Is the first, last, only, or most significant of its type in the state or within a large geographic region
2) Is associated with an individual or group having a profound influence on the history of California
3) Is a prototype of, or an outstanding example of, a period, style, architectural movement or construction or is one of the more notable works or the best surviving work in a region of a pioneer architect, designer or master builder.
California’s Landmark Program began in the late 1800s with the formation of the Landmarks Club and the California Historical Landmarks League. In 1931, the program became official when legislation charged the Department of Natural Resources—and later the California State Chamber of Commerce—with registering and marking buildings of historical interest or landmarks. The Chamber of Commerce then created a committee of prestigious historians, including DeWitt Hutchings and Lawrence Hill, to evaluate potential landmark sites.
In 1948, Governor Earl Warren created the California Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee to increase the integrity and credibility of the program. Finally, this committee was changed to the California Historical Resources Commission in 1974. Information about registered landmarks numbered 770 onward is kept in the California Register of Historical Resources authoritative guide. Landmarks numbered 669 and below were registered prior to establishing specific standards, and may be added to the California Register when criteria for evaluating the properties are adopted.
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Archie “Mr. Mother Lode” Stevenot, the grandson of pioneer Gabriel Stevenot who started the borax industry in California, made a huge impact in Calaveras County. He was born on September 25, 1882 in Carson Hill at the old Stevenot Homestead where Gabriel first pitched a tent in April of 1850.
Archie tried his hand at many different jobs, including salesman, rancher, miner, post master, school board member, and even the general superintendent. He was very productive when it came to improving the region and cared for his fellow community members. Archie established the Mother Lode Highway Association in 1919 and was its president until 1950 when the Association joined with the Golden Chain Council. The Mother Lode Highway Association was primarily responsible for the creation of State Route 49. In appreciation the bridge across the Stanislaus River between Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties was named the Archie Stevenot Bridge. It is one of the highest reservoir bridges in the United States. There is a memorial plaque on the north side of the bridge commemorating his efforts in the region. There is also a 100 year capsule that will be opened in 2076. He also assisted founding the California Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Mother Lode Baseball League. Archie was a very busy entrepreneur.
“Mr. Mother Lode,” as he was proclaimed by resolution of the State Legislature in 1961, was also very active with E Clampus Vitus and held the status of Supreme Noble Grand Humbug. Archie Stevenot passed away on August 1, 1968.
The historical marker is located 3.7 miles south of Angels Camp at the entrance to the Carson Hill Mine near the post office. There are a total of 8 other Historical Markers within a 3 mile distance, including Carson Hill, James H Carson, Robinson’s Ferry, Archie D. Stevenot (marker at the bridge), The Story Under the Lake, Mark Twain's Cabinand Parrott’s Ferry. If you are traveling along Highway 49 there are many historical landmarks to visit, both north and south of this landmark.
Along with Mark Twain’s famous "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" story that spun into an annual fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee, Calaveras County is rich with Gold Rush history and folklore. Remnants of the railroads and Hispanic culture add to the charm of the county located in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Calaveras Big Trees State Park, a preserve of Giant Sequoia trees, and the uncommon gold telluride mineral Calaverite was discovered in the county in 1861, and is named for it.
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