National Register of Historic Places in Amador County

Shallhorne Blacksmith and Wagon Shop in Fiddletown Shallhorne Blacksmith and Wagon Shop

Massive and well constructed building of rectangular hewn blocks of local Valley Springs rhyolite tuff which is easily worked when first guarded but hardened after exposure.

Chinese General Store in Fiddletown
Chinese General Store
Chinese Gambling Hall in Fiddletown
Chinese Gambling Hall
Cooper House in Fiddletown Cooper House

This Gothic Revival house was restored after being partially destroyed by fire in 1975.

All Photos 12 October 2006
(Click Photos to Zoom)

National Register #78000655
Fiddletown Historic District
State Highway 49

The name Fiddletown is a colorful reminder of the gold rush era.

The town is said to have received its name because the earliest settlers from Missouri who founded the town, in 1849, enjoyed fiddling. The name Fiddletown was immortalized in a short story by Bret Harte entitled "An Episode of Fiddletown."

The name was a source of embarrassment for Judge Purington, an early resident of the town. On his annual trips to San Francisco and Sacramento, he was jokingly called "the man from Fiddletown." He was influential in having the name changed to Oleta by an act of the State Legislature in 1878. However, through the efforts of the California Historical Society, the old name Fiddletown was restored in 1932.

In the 1850s and 1860s, Fiddletown was the trading center for a number of rich placer mining areas including American Flat, American Hill, French Flat, Loafer Flat, Lone Hill and others.

In addition to local mining and trading operations, the town was also the site of a steam powered sawmill, built in 1853 by H. C. Farnham and James McLeod. The mill provided lumber from local forests for the many frame houses built in the area. Local brick was also manufactured for construction of a number of the town's early buildings.

Today, Fiddletown is a quiet rural community in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The main street follows the creek winding through the narrow valley.

Excerpted from the NRHP nomination.

Fiddletown is also California Historical Landmark 35.

Name Year Address Remarks Sort Address Sort Name
Chew Kee Store1850West Main StreetRammed earth adobe. Now a museum.West Main 01Chew Kee Store
Chinese Gambling House1850West Main StreetSee photo on this web pageWest Main 02Chinese Gambling House
Chinese Brick Store1850West Main StreetSee photo on this web pageWest Main 03Chinese Brick Store
Chinese Adobe1850West Main StreetWest Main 04Chinese Adobe
Blacksmith Shop1852Main StreetFa├žade of local brick and side walls of lime-rubble mortarMain 05Blacksmith Shop
"Billie" Brown Home1858Main StreetOriginal building constructed of local brick with iron doors. Later additions are wood frame.Main 06"Billie" Brown Home
Atkinson's Store (Shelander Residence)Main StreetMain 07Atkinson's Store (Shelander Residence)
Wells Fargo Office (Community Hall)1853Main StreetConstructed of local brickMain 08Wells Fargo Office (Community Hall)
Fiddletown General Store1855Main StreetConstructed of local brick with iron doors and raised sidewalkMain 09Fiddletown General Store
Shallhorne Blacksmith and Wagon Shop1870Main StreetSee photo on this web pageMain 10Shallhorne Blacksmith and Wagon Shop
Cooper House1861Main Street at American Flat RoadSee photo on this web pageMain 11Cooper House
Fiddletown & Masonic Cemeteries1856American Flat RoadAmericanFiddletown & Masonic Cemeteries
Site of St. Marks Lodge No. 115American Flat RoadAmericanSite of St. Marks Lodge No. 115
Oleta Schoolhouse1862American Flat RoadGreek RevivalAmericanOleta Schoolhouse
Judge Purington's Home1856East Main StreetEast Main 15Judge Purington's Home
James Head Home (Tieslau Residence)1862Jibboom StreetClassic Revival cottageJibboom 16 James Head Home (Tieslau Residence)
Farnham Ranch1852Jibboom StreetJibboom 17Farnham Ranch
Chinese Ruins on Tieslau Property1850Fiddletown-Silver Lake RoadSite of Chinese farmingFiddletown 18Chinese Ruins on Tieslau Property
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