National Register of Historic Places in Stanislaus County

National Register #79003463: Stage Stop in La Grange, California 7 October 2007
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National Register #79003463
Stage Stop
AKA Saunders' Store
Yosemite Boulevard and Old La Grange Road
La Grange
Built 1850

The Saunders' Store is a good example of a stone building type utilized during the 1850s in California gold mining communities. Its prominent iron doors are also representative. The classic rendering of the left unit is moreover an interesting translation of the popular Greek Revival style.

The Saunders' Store appears to have been constructed in two phases. This is most emphatically indicated by the vertical seam delineated by the cracking stucco on the facade.

Erected primarily from rubblestone, the rectangular units differ from one and another in the portion of stone to sand mortar used in wall construction, in the application of cut stone facings to the facades, in decorative detail and in iron door type. The unit on the left appears to be more carefully designed and constructed as well as somewhat older.

Excerpted from the NRHP nomination dated 28 February 1979.

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:

Butte Store in Amador County
Calabozo in Hornitos
Civil War Armory in Georgetown
Compere Store in Murphys
Downieville Museum in Downieville

Fountain & Tallman Soda Works in Placerville
Gamble Building in Big Oak Flat
Hirshfeldter Building in Downieville
Honigsberger Store in Copperopolis
Italian Store in Douglas Flat

Kohler Store in Washington
Mackerman & Company Building in Downieville
Masonic Lodge in Columbia
Masonic Lodge in Hornitos
Nevada Brewery in Nevada City

Nevada Theatre in Nevada City
Odd Fellows Hall in Big Oak Flat
Old Segale Building in Murphys
Old Stone Garage in Truckee
Plymouth Trading Post in Plymouth

Pearson Soda Works in Placerville
Sam Choy Store in Angels Camp
Stage Stop in La Grange
Valente Building in Murphys
Watts & Tannahill Company Store in Groveland

Wells Fargo Bank and Stage Stop in Georgetown
Wells Fargo Express in Chinese Camp
Wells Fargo Express in French Corral
Wells Fargo & Company in North San Juan

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