California State Historical Landmark #138
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This landmark is located 1 mile northwest of Tuttletown off State Highway 49, California in Tuolumne County. There are 19 other California State Historical Landmarks in Tuolumne. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 59.955 W 120° 28.623.
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Stopping place of packers carrying supplies to miners. Often 200 jackasses on hill over night furnishing convert suggesting name "Jackass Hill." Very coase gold found here. $10,000 taken from 100 square feet of ground. Quartz found containing 3/4 of total weight in gold. Mark Twain, Steve, Jim and Bill Gilliis and Dick Stoker, the "Bick Baker" in "Roughing It". were cronies. Mark wrote here "Jumping Frog of Calaveras" from notes made at Angels Camp Tavern.
There are two traditional California Historical Landmark markers along Highway 49 and an additional plaque placed by the Rotary at the cabin.
The southbound marker is located at 37°59'25.7"N 120°28'29.2"W.
This is a replica of Mark Twain's cabin, with original chimney and fireplace. Here on Jackass Hill, young Mark Twain, while guest of the Gillis Brothers in 1864-65, gathered material for The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, which first brought him fame, and for Roughing It.
The northbound marker is located at 37°59'29.2"N 120°28'07.7"W.
This cabin was first built in 1922 to commemorate the famed author's presence in Tuolumne County during the winter of 1864-65. 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 Stoker (local pocket miners) until about February 25, 1865. While living on the hill, Sam heard the story of the "jumping frog" in an Angel Camps 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 - 05, restored the cabin as it centennial project, celebrating 100 years of Rotary (1905-2005). This cabin was dedicated on February 23, 2005, the 100th birthday of Rotary International.