San Andreas CA

A small group of Mexican miners established a camp in a gulch one-quarter mile above the present-day town center sometime in late 1848. The first Mass held in the camp took place on November 30, 1948, St. Andrew's Day. The camp became known as San Andreas in honor of the saint. The miners had some success and by the following year, their numbers rose to one thousand.

In late 1849, American miners began appearing, followed by French and Chinese arrivals. The influx of miners soon led to fandango halls, saloons, boarding houses, and a variety of stores. The first frame building erected was the Bella Union in spring 1851. It was a combination saloon, courthouse, gambling hall, and meeting place.

The surface placer deposits gave out after a few years. A major discovery beneath Gold Hill to the west in 1853 ignited a fresh bout of growth in San Andreas. The first of three fires broke out in 1854 and destroyed a number of wood and canvas buildings. The town town rebuilt and the post office arrived on November 14, 1854, from the town of Third Crossing (not sure where it was located). The second fire took place in February 1856 and burned down much of Main St. San Andreas rebuilt only to have its third fire take place in June 1858. This time much of the town's Main St. rebuilt in the brick and frame Classical Revival style.

San Andreas became the Calaveras County seat after an election in 1863 over the then seat of Mokelumne Hill. Legal action delayed the actual move until 1866. San Andreas would gain notoriety again with the November 1883 trial of Black Bart (Charles Earl Boles, born 1829 in Norfolk England), a stagecoach robber who was also known as the "Gentleman Bandit." He is believed to have rob twenty-eight Wells Fargo coaches between 1875 and 1883. Black Bart went on to serve a little more than four years in San Quentin State Prison.

Calaveras County
Population: 2,783 (2010 census)
Elevation: 926 ft.

Date visited: May 15, 2020

[Picture of San Andreas historical plaque]

Historic Main Street

Main Street is the old business center of San Andreas. The original CA 49 route to Mokelumne Hill ran through this street.

[Picture of Main Street San Andreas 1]

[Picture of Main Street San Andreas 2]

[Picture of Main Street San Andreas 3]

Gooney's Saloon

This small brick building was built for Thomas McGlim soon after the 1858 fire wiped out the town's business section. Under McGlim's ownership, the tavern was called "Thomas McGlim Brick Saloon" and had iron doors and a canopy over the sidewalk. The name for which it is currently known, "Gooney," was the name his friends called Gooner Everson, the building's owner from the 1863 to 1890s. Though mostly used to house a saloon and restaurant, the red building has also served as a dry goods store, harness shop, jewelry store, and office.

[Picture of Gooney's Saloon]

Cornell and Bowman's Store

Built in 1857 of brick, the Cornell and Bowman's Store survived the June 1858 fire and is one of the oldest buildings in San Andreas. The store operated as a tin shop, plumbing and hardware store -- first under Cornell and Bowman, and then Herman Bode -- until 1898. The next owner, W.O. Swenson, operated the Calaveras Metal Works, which made pipe for the local mines. The building then was used for storage until 1922. That year, a stucco facade was applied. The building was then used as law offices and later became the Bank of Calaveras County (until 1950s). The interior of the main floor has an elaborate tin ceiling.

[Picture of Cornell and Bowman's Store]

B. Crowley's Empire Bakery and Restaurant

This brick building was built in 1858 and first operated as a bakery and restaurant. Miners tired of their own cooking were the most frequent patrons of the restaurant. Though the years, the building saw service as a drug store, hardware store, saloon, general store, and post office. The building became the Winkler's Store in the 1920s and covered with a coating of stucco in 1929.

[Picture of B. Crowley's Empire Bakery and Restaurant]

Oddfellows and Masonic Hall 1856

Built in 1856 by the San Andreas Masonic Lodge, this brick building was the first two-storied structure in San Andreas and survived the 1858 fire by closing its iron shutters. The meeting hall was located n the upper floor while a general provision store operated from the ground floor and the basement housed a billiard room and saloon. The ground floor was used as an armory during the Civil War by the Union Guards. By 1881, the building was jointly owned by the Calaveras Lodge of the I.O.O.F. and Masonic Lodge. The building was purchased by Calaveras County in 1900 and combined with the Hall of Records for use as offices and meeting rooms.

[Picture of Oddfellows and Masonic Hall 1856]

Hall of Records and County Courthouse

The two-storied brick County Courthouse was completed in 1868, a couple years after the County Seat moved to town, and originally set back from Main Street with a turnstile at the entrance. It remained the seat of Calaveras County until 1966 when it moved to new quarters in San Andreas. The building also housed the County Jail, which occupied the east end of the lower floor. The jail contained five iron-barred cells, a trustee's room, kitchen, and office. The highwayman, Black Bart, was confined here for three days during his 1883 trial. The two-storied Hall of Records was built in front of the Courthouse in 1893. The two buildings are now part of the Calaveras County Museum.

[Picture of Hall of Records and County Courthouse]

William Livers Ten Pin Saloon

The saloon was built in 1858 and had been almost completed operated as a saloon by various owners over more than a hundred years. Until it fairly recently became offices, the saloon was noted for its bowling alley. Over the years, the saloon was also called "The Exchange," "Toon Brothers Saloon," "The Branch," and "The Courthouse Saloon." The latter name came from its next-door location to the Courthouse.

[Picture of William Livers Ten Pin Saloon]

Joseph Bennett Building

This small frame building was constructed after the 1858 fire and originally a barber shop (tonsorial parlor). It was sold to John Steel and D. Johnson in 1863 and became a boot and shoe store. By 1881, John Steel was the sole owner and operated his bootmaker and cobbler shop for 56 years. The shop has been converted into office space.

[Picture of Joseph Bennett Building]

American Bakery and Restaurant

This structure is the oldest existing building in San Andreas having been built of stone quarried from nearby Murrays Creek in 1855 after Joseph Zwinge's canvass tent hotel of 1853 had burnt down for the third time. Known as the American Hotel and Restaurant, the building had several small, partitioned rooms in the rear that were rented nightly to travelers and miners. John Huberty acquired the building in December 1858. In 1887, William F. Jenkins purchased the building and changed its name to the "Jenkins Brother Hotel." In latter years, the building housed the county library, county museum, Chamber of Commerce. Today, it houses the county archives.

[Picture of American Bakery and Restaurant]

[Picture of American Bakery and Restaurant sign 1]

[Picture of American Bakery and Restaurant sign 2]

Henry Wolfstein's Cigar Store

This narrow, rectangular brick building was built in 1859 for Henry Wolfstein, owner of "Cigar Store and New Agency." Dr. Robertson with Mr. Friedberger purchased the building in the 1870s and converted it to a drug store and Robertson's practice. The drug store passed to Dr. Murphy during the 1880s after he took over Robertson's practice. The building has recently been used as a real estate office.

[Picture of Henry Wolfstein's Cigar Store]

Blewett's Cafe

Originally, this building was two separate buildings with one built in 1895 and the other 1897. Over the years, the building housed a dry goods store, tailor, doctor's offices, dentist's offices, a drug store, the San Andreas Theatre, and Blewett's Cafe. The last was a popular eatery, which was downstairs while the Blewetts lived upstairs. Judge Blewett also had his offices downstairs. The building was converted to offices in the 1980s and it is now operating as Cornerstone Church.

[Picture of Blewett's Cafe]

Calaveras Prospect Printing Office

This one-story building was constructed circa 1884 and served as home and printing office of Clarence Getchell, publisher of the weekly Calaveras Prospect (1881-1926). The building now houses a hair salon and offices.

[Picture of Calaveras Prospect Printing Office]

Ganz and Prag's Brick Store

Conrad Prag and Abram Ganz built this one-story brick building in 1859 as a general merchandise store. At some point, the building was used by agents of Wells Fargo & Co. and Union Telegraph Company. The store was sold to an unknown party in 1864 and then came under C.M. Whitlock's ownership in 1868. Whitlock added a second story in 1897 and ran the business until his death in 1904. Jonathan Franklin Treat purchased Whitlock's mercantile business. After J.F. Treat's death in 1917, the business, J.F. Treat & Son, was run by son, John Alexander, until 1924. Another son, William Thomas, returned from San Francisco and the business became "Treat Brothers." When John Alexander passed in 1926, the business name changed to "Treat's Store." In 1930, the building was remodeled by William Thomas and became part of Treat Hotel.

[Picture of Ganz and Prag's Brick Store]

Thomas Tassaro (Dasso?) Stone Store

Originally a one-story stone building constructed in the 1856 which survived the 1858 fire, Thomas Tassaro operated a general store to the early 1870s when he entered partnership with Geralamo Tiscornia. The building became part of the Treat Hotel in 1932, at which time a second floor was added. This building has since been converted to offices.

[Picture of Thomas Tassaro Stone Store]

Treat Hotel/ Black Bart Inn

Built in 1893 by William Pfortner, this two-story framed building was used as an office building with grain storage on the first floor and offices on the second. Later, the first floor became a general store with living quarters on the top fllor. It also served at some point as a watchmaker's shop and barbershop. In the 1920, the Bon Ton Chop Shop was located on the lower floor. After the Metropolitian Hotel burned down in 1926, William T Treat purchased the property to create a new hotel for San Andreas. The building is now part of the Black Bart Inn with a restaurant and bar downstairs and offices and apartments upstairs.

[Picture of Black Bart Inn]

[Picture of Black Bart Inn sign]

Unknown Building

Not sure if this building was part of that built by William Pfortner as there was no information on it.

[Picture of Unknown Building]

Unknown Brick Building

No information on this building on Main St.

[Picture of Unknown Brick Building]

Antone's Barber Shop

Also known as the H. G. Allen Store and Post Office, this wood frame building with a stone foundation was built around 1860. Over the years, it has been a barber shop, bakery, store, post office, and telegraph office. In 1902, the building housed the Miner's Saloon.

[Picture of Antone's Barber Shop]

Theodore Peyser's Brick Store

The one-story brick structure was built in 1859 by John Eppley, a respected stone mason in San Andreas. Theodore Peyser ran a dry-goods store here for many years. The building was later used for Rosenberg and Seldner's Store, C.R. Lloyd's Picture Gallery, and (in the 1880s) Beal's "Weekly Calaveras Citizen." [Side note: A source has the Calaveras Citizen weekly newspaper only in existene from 1871 to 1876, thereafter it was called the Weekly Calaveras Citizen.] The building is currently home to the Calaveras Enterprise.

[Picture of Theodore Peyser's Brick Store]

Oddfellows and Masonic Hall 1900

The Oddfellows and Masonic Lodge built this two-storied structure with arched window openings in 1900. It was also used by Calaveras Union High School from 1905 until the new school was built in 1928. Masonic meetings are still held on the second floor and shops are located on the first.

[Picture of Oddfellows and Masonic Hall 1900]

Wyllie and Washburn Store

Alexander Wyllie and J.F. Washburn built this brick structure in 1861. The two used the building as a general provisions store and office for the lumberyard of their Eureka Mill. The building was remodeled in 1920 and sold in 1926. The building was sold and operated as a store until 1956. At some point, it became known as the Dragomanovich Store. This building is now being used as a dental office.

[Picture of Wyllie and Washburn Store]

People's Cemetery

The People's Cemetery is located to the north of the historic business center of San Andreas and overlooking it.

[Picture of Barely readable wooden Masonic grave marker]

[Picture of Clara Gustine grave]

[Picture of Ella Faville grave]

[Picture of Gilbert Pfortner grave]

[Picture of Maj James Gorman grave]

[Picture of Shepard graves]

[Picture of William Pfortner grave]

[Picture of Marie Pfortner grave]

[Picture of William Steffer grave]