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Shingle Springs (No. 456 California Historical Landmark)

Historic Site or District

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.

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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Shingle Springs was established at the site of a mining camp by "48-ers," miners who had come to California in 1848 to strike it rich in the burgeoning gold rush. The name of the town comes from a shingle mill that produced up to 16,000 shingles per day and cold springs which ran through the town.

The town is also known for an overnight stop by the Boston-Newtown Joint Stock Association, which camped at Shingle Springs on September 26, 1849.

The Bostorn-Newtown Joint Stock Association left Boston on April 16, 1849 and arrived at Sutter's Fort on September 26, 1849. This overland group of pioneers were unique in their piety and wealth: every man arrived with money, and the group forbade traveling on the Sabbath, swearing, drinking, and gambling- the latter three were well-known pastimes of early pioneers and miners.

Written records from the men of the Boston-Newtown Joint Stock Association are preserved in Shingle Springs and describe the Gold Rush in great detail.

In 1865, the Sacramento Valley Railroad was extended to Shingle Springs from Latrobe and for two years, Shingle Springs benefited from the freight stop. In 1867, rail traffic the Central Pacific Railroad from Sacramento via Auburn was shifted from Placerville Road.

The oldest building is the Shingle Springs House, constructed in 1850. Phelps Store, a building made from local stone, was built in the 1880s and is near the monument for the Boston-Newtown Joint Stock Association.

Today, Shingle Springs has a population of 4,432 people. The federally-recognized Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians are headquartered here.

The marker for the Boston-Newtown Joint Stock Association is located on Mother Load Drive near the post office in Shingle Springs, 35 miles east of Sacramento on Highway 50.

El Dorado County

Stretching from oak-studded foothills and the shores of Folsom Lake to the western shore of Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County is probably best known for the 1848 gold discovery at Coloma. “Old Hangtown” sprang up during the Gold Rush and was later renamed Placerville. The county name comes from the mythical land rich in gold sought by Spanish explorers. The first inhabitants of El Dorado County were the Maidu and Miwok Indians, followed by miners attracted to the area by the Gold Rush.

El Dorado County was one of the original counties in California. The Pony Express Trail ran through the county approximately where Highway 50 is today, from April 3, 1860 to October 26, 1861. The first county seat was Coloma, and it was superseded by Placerville for this position in 1857. El Dorado means “the gilded one” in Spanish; a fitting name considering the mines in El Dorado County produced millions of dollars of gold.

Time Period Represented


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