63 years ago

Jan. 24, 1953

Sheriff Don L. Vars is searching for a former Chinese Camp ranch hand following the discovery of three slot machines in that area. The machines, two nickel and one dime slots, were discovered by Ed Rosasco in an outbuilding on his ranch. He told Vars he found the stored slots after the ranch hand was fired and left for other employment, presumably in the Modesto area. Vars, who now keeps the machines in his office as evidence, said the mere possession of them is a violation of the state criminal code, and a misdemeanor.

81 years ago

Feb. 9, 1935

DRAPER MINE — Having after many months of active work, accomplished the reopening of the famous Draper mine near Soulsbyville, and now with practically all equipment in place and structural surface improvements about completed, the Draper Vein Syndicate is launching a comprehensive program of development for the early restoration of the well known property to the producing class. Superintendent Frank L. Mitchell reports that a stope is being opened up from the 500-level north drift in an ore body twelve to fourteen inches wide that assays from $50 to $300 per ton, and a raise is being run in the same ore body from the 600-foot bottom level, where the first round of blasts showed twelve inches of ore that assayed better than $300.

96 years ago

Feb. 7, 1920

The Sonora High School athletic department is organizing its first ever football team. We have some husky timber, and valley teams are already calling for games with the mountain bunch. When our locals get into training they will soon be ready to meet all competitors and show them a thing or two on how to throw a pigskin.

106 years ago

Jan. 29, 1910

The meat boycott inaugurated in the east is rapidly spreading throughout the county, and thousands of people are determined to eat no meat for thirty to sixty days. The boycott system has been adopted to bring about a reduction in the price of meats, which has been and remains high. The packing-house masters laugh at the situation, declaring they are powerless to regulate the matter, and they pass the “buck” to the cattle-raiser who in turn asserts that conditions on the range are bad.

Stock has to be fed, they point out, and feed is scarce. With demand being greater than supply, the price of feed is consequently higher. In California, the anti-meat movement is being waged mainly in coastal towns, and has not yet reached this section.

Here is a sample of current meat prices (per pound) in Sonora:


Boil and stew........ 8 cents.

Roasts.........11 cents.

Rounds...........11 cents. Loin......15 cents.

Porterhouse........12 cents.

T steaks........17 1/2 cents.

118 years ago

Jan. 15, 1898

KLONDIKE OR BUST — Tuolumne already has its representatives among the gold-seekers of the far north, and from present indications a lot more will make the attempt in early spring to join the local band and dig for nuggets with icicles on them. The fact they are leaving one of the richest mining regions in the world to throw in with the Alaskan Gold Rush makes no difference to them. They have the Klondike craze, and nothing but a large dose of rheumatism-laden experience will effect a cure for their hallucinations.

138 years ago

Jan. 19, 1878

On Wednesday morning, in what has become almost a monthly occurrence, the stage from here to Milton was stopped by three men, about a mile and a half from Sonora. One man grabbed the bridles of the leaders while another aimed a shot-gun at the driver and ordered him to stop.

The third man kept guard over the passengers inside the coach. The driver was directed to get down and unhitch, then the horses were sent ahead a short distance where they were guarded by two men with double-barreled shot-guns and six shooters. The third robber entered the stage and opened the safe with a cold chisel and steel bar. The exact amount that was in the box we have not learned, but have reason to believe was between five and six thousand dollars.

148 years ago

Jan. 1, 1868

BRIDGE WASHOUTS — It commenced raining last Saturday morning and continued with but little intermission until late Wednesday night. The covered bridge across the North Fork of the Tuolumne, on the road from Soulsbyville to Southern Ranch, was washed away. Likewise, the Don Pedro Bar bridge across the Tuolumne, and Murphy’s bridge across the Merced, have also been carried off.

The bridge across the Mokelumne, on the road between Mokelumne Hill and Jackson, was swept away. The entire town of Pine Log and its covered bridge are no more, and we have been informed that the Stanislaus was so high at one point that water stood several feet in the streets of Knights Ferry.