• The World Rushed In
    According to Enos Christman, editor of the Sonora Herald, the first newspaper in the Southern Mines, Sonora received more than its share of the unparalleled tide of cultural dissimilitude. In 1851 – using some of the derogatory terms […]
  • The County Fair
    (The Gold Dust is a compilation of the writings of Ora Moss Morgan Sonora, Ca 1933 – 1950) So we are going to have a County Fair – what a fine thing that will be _ exhibits of our country products – a horse show – […]
  • Stagecoach Robbery Was Well Planned
    Sonora, like many of the old mining towns, had its share of stagecoach robberies. One that took place in November 1881, was described in the Tuolumne Independent. Early one Monday morning, at half past five o’clock, the stage on the […]
  • Spanish Flu Called for Extreme Measures
    Sonora, like so many communities in the Fall of 1918, did not escape the deadly effects of the Spanish Influenza that raged through the country. Each week, The Union Democrat listed those who were sick, had recovered or had died from the […]
  • So Long Ago
    It seemed that I was in the bottom of the sea. The water was a deep, pretty green and swimming all around were many wiggling things. They were really quite beautiful because as they swan you would catch a glimmer of gold on their scales. […]
  • Sonora Once Had a Seamier Side
    Like many Gold Rush communities, Sonora was known for its seamier side as well as for a more civilized society. Prostitution was practiced somewhat openly from the city’s founding until the 1950s when the federal government instructed the […]
  • The Patent Medicine Troupe
    It is a far cry from the frocked pharmacists of today to the medicine shows that rattled into town with their glitter and glamour in Sonora’s days of yesterday. Today’s remedies may be more scientific, but there certainly was […]
  • Our Home
    Our home was a white, two story house with a basement. It had twelve rooms with an attic along one side of the house. The attic was very dark and we imagined all kinds of bad creatures lived in there. When my folks sold the house, the man […]
  • October Days
    October days – tawny with sunshine and purple – the odor of burning leaves – how just this little thing awakens memories of childhood days – raking and burning leaves in all the yards in the old neighborhood – […]
  • Foreign Miners’ Tax Costly to Sonora
    In April of 1850, both branches of the California State Legislature passed the Foreign Miners’ Tax which stated that “foreign” born miners would have to pay $20 per month for the privilege of mining. Because many foreigners had come to […]
  • Sonora’s First Hanging a Group Effort
    On Thursday, June 26, 1851, James Hill, a desperate fellow, altogether too lazy to aspire to the dishonor of a full fledged desperado, entered the store of B. A. Mardis in Campo Seco armed with a revolver in one hand and a Bowie knife in […]
  • Sonora’s 4th of July
    Wouldn’t you love to turn back the pages of time to the Fourth of July in the dear old Sonora of yesterday? Do you remember how we all talked and planned for months for the coming Fourth? Why, it was the big, outstanding celebration […]
  • In A Sweet Country Town
    So you ask for the Christmas of our childhood days? My, it seems only yesterday that we were romping, happy, carefree youngsters, eagerly waiting for Christmas Day to come; we roamed the nearby hills, gathering holly berries and mistletoe […]
  • The Circus Comes to Town
    The other day while driving through one of the valley towns I noticed big circus posters here and there – bright and gaudy ones – and it seemed to me I had not seen any like them for years… Every fence and barn and shed […]
  • Bradford Avenue
    S. S. Bradford was probably the most prosperous and influential citizen of Sonora during his time. He came to Tuolumne County from his native state of Maine where he had been engaged in the lumber business. Mr. Bradford’s experience and […]
  • Benches
    Have you ever noticed how lovely our park is just now? Such green grass and sturdy shrubs, and the sycamores with fluttering leaves and restful shade! I truly think the cold and snow of winter did something for the park. And the benches […]
  • Aviation Comes to Sonora
    Aviation first came to Sonora with the hot air balloon. About this time every Spring the balloon ascension of the traveling carnival was advertised for miles around and the people flocked from far and near to witness the big event. The […]
  • Sonora Chinatown
    And this is our old Chinatown of yesterday – a block of dingy wooden buildings grown brown with the years, and a few bricks that housed the better class – the front covered with strips of red paper, while near the doorways […]