California Living History

Take a California Adventure

Journey aboard the State of California’s Official Tall ship as you set sail along the beautiful Southern California coast. Each trip to the waters around Catalina Island aboard the schooner Californian offers a spectacular outlook on maritime history, seamanship and the awesome beauty of the Pacific. Sailing aboard the Californian offers an opportunity to step into the past and experience the romance of tall ship sailing. The friendly and experienced crew will be happy to share their knowledge with you. As an active member of the guest crew you will take your turn standing watch, hauling lines, manning the helm - perhaps even going aloft. Along with the challenge of sailing a tall ship and a more rustic lifestyle, enjoy camaraderie with your shipmates rarely found on shore. If you have an adventuresome spirit, a robust nature and a passion for the sea, then this is the trip for you! Californian is a replica of a mid-19th century revenue cutter. Designed for speed, she has seven sails, carries 7,000 square feet of canvas, measures 145 feet in length, weighs 130 tons and is armed with four six-pound deck guns. In July 2003 the governor signed a bill into law designating Californian as the official tall ship of the State of California. Californian is owned and operated by the Maritime Museum of San Diego. She is crewed by both experienced professional sailors and skilled museum volunteers. The Maritime Museum of San Diego enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining and operating historic vessels. The museum has one of the world’s finest collections of historic ships, including the world’s oldest active ship the Star of India. The museum is located on the North Embarcadero in downtown San Diego.


Anonymous said...

Sutter's Fort

The "Fort" built by Swiss immigrant John Sutter more than 150 years ago was not only located at a pivotal point in California. It was a pivotal point in history. This combination of big dreams, bold adventures and reality all manifest themselves at Sutter's Fort State Historic Park and help bring California history to life.

John Augustus Sutter was born in Europe to Swiss-German parents in 1803. After several financial reverses, like millions of others in Europe during the time, Sutter set out to make his fortune in America. After a series of adventures that ranged from Missouri and Santa Fe to Hawaii and Alaska, Sutter finally made it to California and arrived in Sacramento in the late fall of 1839.

In Sacramento, he built what came to be know as Sutter's Fort -- with walls that were 2 1/2 feet thick and 15 to 18 feet high -- and developed what he considered to be the real wealth of California -- crops such as grapes and wheat, along with vast herds of cattle.

Aligning himself with the Mexican authorities, at one point, with his various land grants, Sutter owned more than 150,000 acres of the Central Valley, and was a generous host to such colorful and historically important characters as John C. Fremont and Kit Carson,

In 1848, James Marshall, a carpenter working for Sutter, discovered gold at the sawmill Sutter was having built in Coloma, on the American River. Before the mill could be finished, word of the discovery was out. Sutter's workers deserted the Fort for the goldfields seeking their fortunes. By the 1850's, all that was left of Sutter's Fort was the central building.

The Native Sons of the Golden West were influential in the restoration of the Fort which began in 1891 and was completed in 1893. Donated to the State of California, Sutter's Fort became a part of the California State Park System in 1947. Sutter's Fort stands as the oldest restored Fort in the United States.

Today, the Fort is furnished and reconstructed to reflect its 1846 appearance. Many activities and programs recreate the past thanks to the volunteers who give their time to share their love of California History.

irishlass said...

Calaveras Jumping Frog Festival

The History of The Frog Jump
In 1865, Samuel l. Clemens (Mark Twain) penned “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, a tall tale of the life and happenings of the gold rush town, Angels Camp. The narrator details a story he heard in a tavern. It is about a frog, Dan’l Webster, who could out jump any other frog, and a man, Jim Smiley, who was the “curiousest man about always betting on anything that turned up you ever see, if he could get anybody to bet on the other side; and if he couldn’t he’d change sides.” (1) Jim Smiley had bet forty dollars. Smiley was figuring that his frog could “out jump any frog in Calaveras County”. (2) He met a stranger who filled Dan’l Webster with buckshot, therefore winning the frog jump and the forty dollars in gold. Figuring out what happened Smiley ran after the stranger but he never caught him. The story was published and delighted audiences worldwide but didn’t appear to have much impact on Calaveras County until much later ...

Meanwhile, the city of Angels Camp continued to function as a mining town, although it became incorporated as the “City of Angels” in 1902. Tents would line narrow, unpaved lanes which were rutted and in rough condition from years of wagon and stage coach use. As the town built up around them, the streets remained in their old state. By 1927, the residents were ready to remedy the deplorable condition of main street by passing a bond measure to finance a paved main street. The Angels Camp Boosters, a community service organization, which began in 1925 and still exists today, decided that a celebration was in order. Their original idea was to hold the “Days of 49”, but a visiting minister, the Reverend Brown, suggested they use the famous Mark Twain story theme. Therefore on May 19 and 20, 1928, the first Jumping Frog Jubilee was held on main street, down town Angels Camp. Due to the formidable efforts of this group of dedicated promoters, including the future Senator, Jesse M. Mayo, the attendance at the first Jumping Frog Jubilee was estimated to be 15,000. The festivities included a large parade featuring bands, wagons, floats and of course the Jumping Frog Contest. The winner was named “Pride of San Joaquin”, jockeyed by Louis Fisher of Stockton. The frog jumped 3’6”.

The Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee has grown to an event with more than 35,000 attendees. It is estimated that the Calaveras County Fair generates approximately 25.5 million dollars in revenues through hotels, restaurants, retail, payroll and other related revenues.

In 2002 the Frog Jump had more than 2000 frogs participate. The top 50 frogs qualify for the International Frog Jump Grand Finals, which are held on Sunday of the Jubilee at 4:00 pm. The current world’s record was set in 1986 by Rosie the Ribeter. Rosie jumped 21’ 53/4”. The cash prize for breaking the world record is $5000.

2006 FrogTown Events

Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee
May 17-21, 2006

Wednesday, May 17
"Heritage Day" Gates open
at 4:00 p.m.
Featuring Saddle Queen ScholarshipCompetition. & Miss Calaveras Scholarship Pageant
at 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 18
"Cowboy Kid's Day" Gates open
at 8:00 a.m.
Kids under 12 are free.
Featuring Spur Production's Extreme Ranch Rodeo
at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 19
"Blast from the Past" Gates open
at 8:00 a.m.
Featuring special programs for seniors & Loverboy
at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 20
"Hillbilly Hay Day" Gates open
at 8:00 a.m.
Featuring "Hot Apple Pie"
at 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 21
"International Frog Jump Day" Gates open at 8:00 a.m.
Featuring The International Frog Jump Finals & The Destruction Derby
at 5:30 p.m.