Saturday, July 10, 2010
My Favorite Little Town
It was so hot at the Wine Art and Music Summer Social last night that you could have fried the proverbial egg on the sidewalk. Christie and I set up our table on the east side of the street which had canvas shades that were dropped down to give us some reprieve from the blistering heat but ,as you can see in the above photo, they only shaded the table and not our legs and feet. I now have a sunburned pedicure after three hours of trying to hide my feet from the late afternoon sun as it moved around and down the west side of the foothills. There was a breeze once in a while but most of the time it was hot and still. We drank LOTS OF WATER.
Both of us sold some of our gourds which was a pleasant change from other fairs and festivals where we worked at it all day and sold nothing. We saw people we knew and enjoyed talking to others about gourds. Lots of folks were interested and thought we made beautiful art from what one lady called a "hard pumpkin". I had to laugh...not at her of course.
Even with the heat we had a good time. With all the music floating in the air, people laughing and wine flowing ...everyone enjoyed themselves. It's nice to see folks relaxing, talking, and enjoying a summer evening together.
This is the Imperial Hotel. This is where you bought your glass for the wine tasting and got a map to direct you to all the vendors and wine tables.
I love these old historic buildings. In this area most of the old buildings have been restored instead of torn down. Fires did destroy many buildings and, sometimes, whole towns around here back when there were no fire departments and little water. Stone and rock became the building method of choice because it didn't burn. It's a wonderful thing to see these beautiful old stores, hotels, and houses taken care of , used for new businesses and being lived in.
This old wall is a foundation for an old hotel. It reads Amador Hotel circa 1855. Someone has tried to remove the E and L on the end of Hotel...possibly as a protest to the hot summers we get up here. It was probably some unhappy tourist who didn't realize how amazing the heat is here in the summer. Or maybe it was some local teenager who didn't have anything better to do. There's not a lot going on in this little town for teenagers unless your into 4H, gold prospecting or rattlesnake hunting.
Only two miles from Sutter Creek on Highway 49, Amador City is the state's smallest incorporated city by area.
It was incorporated into a city around 1915. Historically, it's located in a rich gold bearing area of the Motherlode of California. In 1848-1849 an unknown creek was prospected by a wealthy rancher named Jose Maria Amador. There were no known settlements until 1851 but the California Gold Rush changed the landscape of California forever and towns began to appear everywhere.A post office was established at Amador City in 1863.
Amador's most famous and productive mine, the Keystone, produced about $24 million in gold during 1853-1942. These prices would be higher using today's gold values....a lot higher. Gold was around $20. an ounce back then and today averages $1200. an ounce. Wow!....Yea!! If those miners had only known what was going to happen to the price of gold 150 years later I'm sure they would have saved some for their grandchildren. Life was hard though and the work was backbreaking. Most of them died trying. Prices for everything were obscenely expensive and most of the miners were taken advantage of by local suppliers. It was called "mining the miners".
Women played a big roll in this depending on their skills. They started restaurants, laundries, boarding houses, bath houses and brothels. Never let it be said that women didn't have the moxie to stand on their own two feet in the history of the western movement. They did what they had to do and some succeeded rather well.
Well, enough of the history lesson. We had a nice evening in spite of the hot weather. We made a little money and had a good time. It was what The Bean, my five year old grandson, would call a "handsome" evening.