Copperopolis, A Gold Rush (??) Town In California

Calaveras County, California, USA.

Image via Wikipedia

Of course, California has many many gold rush towns, even a few ghost towns.  But it may have just one old copper town.

Copperopolis is a special gold rush town.  It is definitely not a ghost town although the spirits of some of the old-time miners may still be hanging around the town.

Especially in the historic Old Corner Saloon.

Copperopolis is south of Sacramento, a little past the small city of Stockton in Calaveras County.  Have you heard of the famous Jumping Frog Jubilee in Angels Camp, CaliforniaMark Twain wrote a story about it?  Well, that is in Calaveras County.  Pretty area and historically important.

Copperopolis has a population of some 3,600 residents and was founded in 1860.  And, of course, the town was named after the copper strike in the area.  Shortly after the town was founded. copper became very important in the U.S.  The Civil War created a boom for copper miners because the ore was needed to make bullets.  The boom ednded as the war ended and the mines closed.  The population dwindled.  But World War I and World War II both created new boom-times for copper miners, the mines reopened and the population grew once again.

Now Copperopolis hosts Dog Days, in 2011 this event will be held on October 22nd.  Dress your dog up and come to Copperopolis.  There are special categories for Lady GaGa and Johnny Depp lookalikes.  (I’m trying not to laugh here).  But, that is not what this post is about…..thank god.

“Tucked away among the rolling hills covered with oaks, Copperopolis in the Copper Valley looks much as it did when miners first discovered the riches the valley had to offer.”  With their new Town Hall, Copperopolis has a lot of events, you can find a list here.

The Sacramento Bee had a nice article recently about Copperopolis about both the old and the new Copperopolis.  The little town has seen a 35% population spurt in just the last 10 years.  There are authentic gold rush and copper rush buildings and brand new structures.

The Old Corner Saloon was built and opened in 1862.  There is a general store that opened in the late 1860s and an old brick armory (remember the bullets??) built in 1864 but now closed.  many of the old Victorian homes have been converted to mom-and-pop stores including a flower shop and a take-out grill.

Old timers drink a bit, chat and play pool in the Old Corner Saloon.  On the wall is a picture of the famous highway robber, Black Bart.  Bart used to throw back a few whiskeys in the Old Corner Saloon way back in his stagecoach robbing days.  The Saloon is an authentic cowboy, wild west and trucker kind of place.

The walls are covered with hats nailed, tacked and stapled in place.  The ceiling is covered (every inch) in dollar bills that customers place there.  Many many years of hats and dollar bills.  Make sure you take one of each and join the party!!

On the website for the Saloon, there is a great story about the old covered bridge in the Copperopolis area.

If you go to Copperopolis there are some very nice, well-appointed “bungalows” at the Saddle Creek Resort where a rich halibut will set you back 24 bucks, but oh what a halibut!  The bungalows cost $125-$165, a bit more for a suite.

The resort has a great gold course too.  it is a fine example of that 1860s vs 2011 dichotomy.

At Matt’s Take-Out on Main Street, they  have a great Angus beef cheeseburger for just $4.95.  Nice deal!!

“While it’s far from the every day hustle and bustle, the Copperopolis Town Square is close to it all. Ideally situated less than two hours from the San Francisco Bay Area and one hour from the Central Valley, the Copper Valley is
perfectly positioned between San Francisco, Yosemite and Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Foothills.”

Here is a map:

in the Copperopolis area.