Not born from the gold rush of '49, Hornitos was a strictly Mexican village built as if it had been transplanted from Mexico. But the town was never the same after it was invaded by the "undesirables" from neighboring mining camps. However, as the gold began to give out along the Mother Lode, the town started to return to its original form with the demand for law and order.
The name of the infamous Mexican bandit, Joaquin Murieta, is still associated with Hornitos as he was almost captured there in the early 1850s, but escaped. Fortunately, much of the town can still be seen as it was during the days of the gold rush. It is located of off and west of highway 49 and west of Mariposa. Submitted by Henry Chenoweth.
The town was founded by Mexicans who were run out of neighboring town of Quartzburg for the crime of being Mexicans. In its heyday Hornitos was a wide-open camp whose streets were lined with fandango halls, bars, and gambling dens.
Today Hornitos lives on as one of the best preserved ghost towns in the Mother Lode with the ruins of the old Wells Fargo office, the stone Masonic Hall, the jailhouse, the store where the firm of D. Ghirardelli got its start in the 1850s and others.
coordinates : 37°30'05.30"N 120°14'17.03"W
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