Second Garrote CA

Originally known as San Ignacio Flat when established in 1849, the mining camp is located 2.4 miles southeast of First Garrote (later Groveland) in a natural depression between two hills. The camp became known as Second Garrote after reported hangings of lawbreakers from an old oak tree. Some sources say that no one was really hung while others out the number of criminals strung up from as low as three to as many as sixty.

Second Garrote was located near the main pack mule road of Big Oak Flat and Groveland. The area was rich with gold and there were three mines in the area. The settlement prospered for a time, though remained small. There was a fandango house and Cochran's flour mill. No signs of either of these buildings remain.

James Chaffee and Jason Chamberlain were carpenters, farmers, and miners having first arrived in Second Garrote in 1852. They first discouraged at first, departed for a time, and then returned for good. James Chaffee died in a hospital in 1903 and Jason Chamberlain soon after by shotgun. Their neighbors, Fred and Charles Schmidt (brothers), were also long-time residents. The Schmidts died in 1953.

The old Bret Harte Cabin, which was really Chaffee and Chamberlain's home, was referenced as recently as a 2012 brochure as a place of interest, but the remains of this building are gone by 2007 (according to Google Maps street view). Today the site of Second Garrote is the Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging on Old CA Hwy 120.

Tuolumne County
Population: Lost Town
Elevation: 2,894 ft.

Date visited: May 1, 2020

[Picture of Second Garrote Plaque]

Second Garrote landmark

Located next to the old hanging tree on Old Hwy 120, the Second Garrote landmark is pretty much all that's left to denote that the old mining settlement ever existed.

[Picture of Second Garrote landmark]

Hanging Tree remains

Only the shattered and bound up trunk remains of the hanging tree, which gave Second Garrote its name.

[Picture of Hanging Tree remains]

Covered Wagon lodging

In addition to more traditional lodging, the Yosemite Pines RV Resort and Family Lodging has a covered wagon concept for those wishing to experience lodging like the pioneers of old... after a fashion.

[Picture of Covered Wagon lodging]