Tuolumne County Points of Interest
A plaque sponsored by the Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce reads:
Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail - Mark Twain Cabin
Stopping place of packers carrying supplies to miners. Often 300 jackasses on hill over night furnishing concert suggesting name "Jackass Hill." Very coarse gold found here. $10,00 taken from 100 square feet of ground. Quartz found containing 3/4 of total weight in gold. Mark Twain, Steve, Jim and Bill Gillis and Dick Stoker, the "Dick Baker" in "Roughing It," were cronies. Mark wrote here "Jumping Frog of Calaveras" from notes made at Angels Camp tavern.
Erected by Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce 1928
A Rotary Club plaque mounted on a rock beside the cabin reads:
Mark Twain Cabin
This cabin was first built in 1922 to commemorate the famed author's presence in Tuolumne County during the winter of 1864-1865. Sam Clemens had come over the mountains from Virginia City, Nevada, to San Francisco with his friend Steve Gillis. His various biographers gave different reasons for Clemens coming to Jackass Hill. No matter the reason, Sam Clemens arrived here on December 4, 1864.
Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, stayed with the other two Gillis brothers, Jim and Bill, and Dick Stocker (local pocket miners) until about February 25, 1865. While living on the hill, Sam heard the story of the "jumping frog" in an Angels Camp saloon. His version would transform his life. Also some of the tall tales spun by the Gillis brothers and Stoker would find their way into Mark Twain's later writings. That short stay here in the Sierra had quite an impact on American literature.
Time and the elements took their toll on the first "Mark Twain Cabin," so the Sonora Sunrise Rotary Club, during 2002 - 2005, restored the cabin as its centennial project, celebrating 100 years of Rotary (1905-2005). This cabin was dedicated on February 23, 2005, the 100th birthday of Rotary International.
This site is also Califonia Historical Landmark 138.
Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail