Calaveras County Points of Interest
The marker reads:
The Town of Copperopolis
With the discovery of copper ore in 1860 by Thomas McCarty and William K. Reed, the town of Copperopolis sprang into existence and soon became the largest producer of copper in the western United States. The population of Copperopolis grew to exceed 10,000 by 1863. The Union Mine was the largest producing mine in the area, working three shafts and hundreds of men on the payroll.
During the nations three recent wars, the Civil War, World War I and World War II, much of the copper ore that was so vital to the implements of war was supplied by this area.
During the Civil War the price of copper reached an all time high of 55 cents a pound, falling to 19 cents when the war drew to a close. Although six mines were operating in 1866, they did not hold out for long, for the grade of ore had also fallen. From 1861 until 1976, the camp has produced about 72,500,000 pounds of copper valued at the time at $12,100,000.00
1960 marked the 100th anniversary of the discovery of copper which also marked the beginning of mining asbestos for this unique little “nearly ghost” town of Copperopolis.
Dedicated by Matuca Chapter 1849
E Clampus Vitus
June 17, 2000 (6005)
Credo quia absurdum