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Author Archives: Don Grove

History Mystery #97

Image of an old sign in the woods.

History Mystery #97, Chinchilla Ranches and Mystery Signs in the Madera County Mountain Communities Prepared by Andy Brooks, Raymond Museum volunteer The Chinchilla ranch industry, though short lived by most history standards, had a favorable economic impact on the Madera County mountain area communities. How many ranches were there? What other businesses were created from the Chinchilla ranch industry? Who ...

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History Mystery #96: The Case of the Forgotten Fire Station

Image of the 1969 Logger's Jamboree Parade.

Submitted by Connie Popelish, North Fork History Group  The people of North Fork have always been big on community spirit! In this 1969 image of participants in the Loggers Jamboree Parade, the Volunteer Fire Station is in the background. The location of the Fire House was Main Street, North Fork, where the library is today. The North Fork History Group ...

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History Mystery #95: The Case of the Rusty Relic

Image of a rusted piece of mystery farm equipment.

This is one of the most recent donations to the Coarsegold museum. We are hoping to get more information about this item for our records. Stories about how it is used, or families that had one on their ranch or in their yard. Thank you for your participation in the History Mystery project. Our museum is closed at this time, ...

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History Mystery #94: The Case of the Missing Maps

Antique image of cowboy on horseback in front of the Summerdale Hotel.

By Debby Carter, Sierra Historic Sites Association The place we know as Fish Camp has a long history. In Native American times it was a seasonal campsite for fishing and gathering acorns. After the establishment of European Americans in the area, it saw several different purposes over the years. The name “Fish Camp” waffled back and forth with “Summerdale” for ...

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History Mystery #93: The Case of the Curious Cabin

Nearly a century-old image of a couple on the front porch of a cabin.

Submitted by Christina McDonald Munahoo (Hello) History Mystery followers! The Sierra Mono Museum and Cultural Center has a photo of a cabin that we are seeking information on. The photo is labeled Whisky Creek, North Fork, and is built on a foundation of granite, with peeled logs for the support posts for the porch and some shake lumber. We are ...

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History Mystery #92: The Case of Gabby’s Place

Image of the wooden sign that used to be in front of Gabby's Place.

Prepared by Dan Carrion, Historian, E. Clampus Vitas Grub Gulch 41-49 Chapter While driving on Highway 41 about three miles above Coarsegold Village, there is a curve in the highway with turnouts on either side of the road. On the north side of the road, there is a flat spot about a half-acre in size, nestled in front of a ...

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History Mystery #91: The Case of the Cold-Blooded Cavalry

Image of old west wagon wheels.

Article submitted by Lynn Northrop, Raymond Museum This letter (see below) was sent to me by ex-Raymondites Bob and Trina Quinn via a friend of theirs. We are hoping someone knows this Ducker name in our area and may have a family history or story about what happened to the cavalry soldiers that perpetrated this crime. In Raymond’s history we ...

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History Mystery #90: The Case of the Perplexing Pumitile

Image of a pumitile brick.

By Connie Popelish, North Fork History Group Some of the special features of North Fork architecture include the unique buildings made of blocks of pumice and cement, known as pumitile. Pumitile concrete bricks were manufactured by the Jourdan Concrete Pipe Company of Fresno, beginning around 1931. Initially, the company made concrete pipes for sewage systems, but eventually branched out, designing open-interior ...

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History Mystery #89: The Case of the Mystery Mining Machines

Image of old mining machinery.

By Karen Morris, CHS President COARSEGOLD — The Coarsegold Historical Society has three pieces of mining machinery on display at the Coarsegold Historic Museum. They were donated quite a few years ago and we need help with the names and how they were used. We think the middle one was possibly some kind of rock crusher. If you can help ...

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History Mystery #88: The Case of the Missing Hospital

Picture of an operating room.

Submitted by Debby Carter, SHSA Librarian (Fresno Flats) MOUNTAIN AREA — An article on the front page of the October 29, 1970, Sierra Star reads: “Bass Lake Receives 200 Bed Hospital: On Tuesday, Oct. 27, a full 200-bed hospital will be delivered to Bass Lake. According to Supervisor Lonnie Cornwell and Chairman of the Board Herman Neufeld of Madera County, ...

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