Amador Whitney Museum, Fleehart Building, Amador City
The Fleehart Building is probably Amador City's oldest building, circa 1860s or earlier. William Fleehart was a mine owner, merchant and Wells Fargo Agent. This building was the only store to survive the big fire of 1878. As the oldest intact building in this fine Gold Rush town, what an appropriate location for a museum focusing on the role of women in the Gold Rush.
Fast forward to 1983. Merchant Jerrold Whitney and artist Clayton Pinkerton purchased the building and made it their home, business and art studio. Whitney operated an emporium of eclecticism and Pinkerton's paintings ranged from high color abstracts to Vietnam Era social commentaries.
They lived and worked in the building for a number of years, becoming active and dedicated citizens of Amador City. When their estates were settled, Clayton Pinkerton left the building to Amador City with the stipulation that it be used as a museum.
Today, the Amador Whitney Museum, a nonprofit organization, relies exclusively on support from private donations, sales of Clayton Pinkerton paintings and funding from the Amador City Council.
Information, photographs courtesy of the Amador County Archives, The Historical Marker Database, and the Chronicling America Database