Calaveras County Points of Interest
The Italian Store
Built in 1861 by Antonio and Caterina Gagliardo. Served as a post office and social center for the community of Douglas Flat. A hand dug well located next to the store supplied Douglas Flat with good fresh water and remains in good shape today. James Malespina purchased the store in 1885 where it remained in the family for several years.
A Wells Fargo office also occupied the building with a safe and armed guard to protect the gold from Table Mountain and along Coyote Creek. All from the fabled Teriary Central Hill Channel. The mines included the Ohio, Hitchcock, Southwestern, Texas and the Lone Star. Some of these are located directly behind the store. The guard stationed at the rear of the building at its notable gun port should anyone try to bust the safe, he only had to poke his shotgun through the port that was aligned with the safe and pull the trigger.
Matuca Chapter 1849
E Clampus Vitus
September 15, 2001 (6006)
Credo Quia Absurdum
Gold Rush Stonemasons
Mining camps started as clusters of tents and other makeshift shelters. If the mine was productive, wooden buildings were erected and a town was born.
Conflagrations were a recurring curse. Often entire town were repeatedly destroyed by fire. Stonemasons, especially Italian immigrants from Liguria, began building "fire proof" banks and stores of stone or brick with iron doors and iron window shutters to protect the contents from fire.
Many of these stone buildings survive. Some of them, such as the Butte Store, are the sole reminders of a lost mining town.
Some of these buildings are: