By Pat Perry, City of Sonora historian

Patrick’s corner, later Rother’s corner, was built by George Washington Patrick. Coming to Sonora in 1850, he quickly became involved in local politics, serving as mayor from 1853 to 1855.

In 1853, Patrick sent for his family who were living in Arkansas, advising them to come over the Sonora Pass. They arrived on the eastern side of the pass in late September. The road turned out to be very difficult. At places the immigrants had to lower the wagons by ropes or chains fastened around trees.

Patrick crossed over the mountains to meet his family, sending a message back that: “I ask nothing for myself, as I send forward to Sonora for provisions for my own train. But as I have made known the route to quite a number of emigrants, I hope the citizens of our city will now take an interest in sending forward provisions.”

Patrick’s daughter, Helen, took cold walking in the snow, as her clothes and shoes were badly worn. She died the day before the party reached Sonora. The day after their arrival she was buried in the Sonora cemetery.

Patrick and his family continued to live in Sonora until the outbreak of the Civil War. Born in South Carolina, he was a true southerner, and ardent Confederate. At the beginning of the Civil War, he moved his family to Visalia, California, which had strong Confederate sympathies. Patrick and his son, George, went to Texas to join the Confederate army. Because of his age, 51, he was not allowed to join; however, his son became a captain in the Confederate Army.

Patrick never returned to his family in California, who ultimately moved to San Jose, California. Although he didn’t divorce his wife, he did remarry and had two children. He died in Dallas in 1886.

Source: Sonora Remembered, A Nostalgic
Tribute to a Gold Rush Town, page 9.

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