Irishtown (No. 38 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 Irishtown that used to be a Gold Rush settlement has vanished into history. The town that sat along what is now State Highway 88 nearby the community of Pine Grove was an important stop for emigrants on their way to southern mines.
At first glance, the white settlers labeled Irish Town, “The city of wigwams.” Evidence suggests the area was a preferred settlement for the Miwok Indians. Hundreds of deep pockets are carved in area rocks, indicating heavy use by Native Americans. Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is also nearby the former site of Irishtown.
Today, where Irishtown used to be, is part of the community of Pine Grove. Albert Leonard was Pine Grove’s first postmaster after building his home and Inn in 1854. The Inn was located at the junction of Stage Roads that traveled to Jackson and Clinton.
The communities of Sutter Creek, Volcano, Drytown, Pioneer, Jackson, Ione and Plymouth are nearby. To extend your visit to these historic gold country towns, take a scenic drive through Amador County’s celebrated wine country.
The historical marker is located on State Hwy 88 (P.M. 20.8) at Pine Grove Wieland Rd, 2.2 mi 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.
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