Monday, December 12, 2011

Agua Fria

Mariposa County – August 25, 2009

From landmark #670 it's three miles on the Yosimite Highway to the site where a town once stood.

Lower Agua Fria was the main camp, and was located about a quarter mile above Agua Fria Springs and Carson Creek. When Mariposa County formed on Feb 18, 1850, Agua Fria was designated the county seat till it was transferred to Mariposa on November 10, 1851. Lacking a fire department and ironically its namesake ‘cold water,’ Agua Fria completely burned Jun 22, 1866, sparing only 1 building.

From the Mariposa Free Press June 23, 1866:
Agua Frio Burned.- The town of Lower Agua Frio was entirely
destroyed by fire yesterday morning. The fire originated in one of the
houses occupied by Chinamen, and as the buildings were all wood
structures the whole town was soon in a blaze. We are unable to give
the amount of loss, as we have only learned the above meager particulars
just as we go to press.”

The chairs seemed to be arrainged with intent of meaning and perhaps important conferences of local note are taking place at this historic site. Or maybe it's trash day.

The name came from two springs of cold water about a quarter mile below Lower Agua Fria. Gold was first discovered here in 1949 and by 1850 it was a busy trade center. To answer the question of ‘what makes this monument to nothing a state landmark?’ we look to the criteria of qualification in that it has to be the first, last, biggest, or of significant historical value to make the cut. We’ll run with Agua Fria being the first county seat of Mariposa County, a huge part of the state at the time.

Plaque inscription: NO. 518 AGUA FRIA (L) - One-quarter mile north of Carson Creek, a tributary of Agua Fria Creek, was located the town of Agua Fria, in 1850-51 the first county seat of Mariposa County. One of the original 27 counties in California, Mariposa County comprised one-sixth of the state-all of what is now Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, and Kern Counties-until 1852, while mining was the main industry of region. The town of Mariposa became the seat of government in 1852, and the courthouse there was completed in 1854.
Location:Approx: 4189 Yosemite All Year Hwy CA-140 Mariposa 95338 (P.M. 17.2), 3.2 mi W of Mariposa
4212 CA-140 or Yosemite All Year Highway (PM 17.2), 3.2 mi W of Mariposa.
GPS: 37.481056,-120.010614 

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