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Jackson, California

154 Main Street

In 1851, at least three major happenings ensured the camp's permanency: it got a post office, stage coach service, and by incredible voting ticket legerdermain, won an election as Calaveras County seat. With the arrival of county purse in 1851, Jackson's Creek never looked back - even though the legislature took the county set away in the spring of 1852.

Most of this part of Main Street was part of Jackson's "Chinatown".

More on Jackson's Chinatown

156 Main Street

By then, however, Jackson Creek had become the political center of northern Calaveras and rivaled Volcano and Drytown for economic ascendancy.

If the ford at the creek mandated location of a village there, so did the geographical barrier of the Mokelumne River force an inevitable split of Calaveras County.

160 Main Street

As early as 1852, politicians in Jackson tried to create a new county out of land north of the river. When such secession attempts failed in 1852 and 1853, Jackson did the next best thing: It incorporated.

Though it lacked the requisite 2,000 population to become and incorporated city, it could, with over 200 residents, become and incorporated town, with its own trustees, city officers and taxing and policing powers. Thus it became in late 1853.

154 Main Street

That whiff of autonomy gave spur to another secession move in 1853, and the finally successful legislation in 1854 which allowed Calaveras County voters to vote yea or nay on county division.

On June 14, 1854, the voters did go to the polls but the real outcome was never officially determined.

That is to say, the Calaveras County clerk was supposed to certify to the state that the county was divided or it was not. He certified, and the document is on file in state archives today. that the division failed! Yet another document, by the Calaveras deputy clerk, is also on file saying that the division passed!

Thats why a commission set up by the legislation if the division passed deemed division de facto if not de jure and organized the new county of Amador. On July 17, amoung several competing cities, Jackson eked out a win over Volcano to become the new county's seat. That, at this writing, was 132 years ago. - written in 1986 by Larry Cenotto

Information, photographs courtesy of the Amador County Archives, The Historical Marker Database, The Chronicling America Database, and Larry Cenotto, Amador County's Historian