Clinton (No. 37 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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The ruins of an old Catholic church built in 1877 and assorted other historic buildings are all that remain of a bustling community that once featured 100 buildings. Clinton is one of many smaller towns dotting the Amador County landscape. Since it was the last town in Amador County to cast votes during an election, the residents often cast the deciding votes.
The site of the former town is now within the boundaries of Pine Grove. Clinton is one of many towns, including Butte and Irishtown in Amador County, that boomed during the glory days of the Gold Rush era and slowly faded into the shadows of history and nearly forgotten.
Miners arrived in Clinton after they had worked the camps along the Mokelumne River. Most of the camp residents were Mexican, Chilean and French miners.
Clinton was once known as Sarahsville. It was the center of placer mining during the 1850s and quartz mining of the 1880s. Clinton was a stage stop along the Jackson, Aqueduct City and Volcano route.
The historical marker is located at the intersection of E. Clinton and Clinton Road, 1.0 mile SE of State Highway 88, 3.2 miles SW of Pine Grove.
Amador County was one of the most productive of the “Mother Lode” counties. The mine shafts were reported to be among the deepest in the world. Mining continues in select areas today. The eastern slope of Amador County begins at Kirkwood’s historic stage stop known today as the Kirkwood Inn. The relatively narrow county is aligned between the Mokelumne and Cosumnes rivers and roughly follows an important emigrant trail route. Gold rush camps and boomtowns abound in the history of the area. Amador County is also recognized for its dozens of vineyards and wineries.
Time Period Represented