Logo Picture Left SideLogo Picture Right SideLogo Text at Center

Bear Valley - Mariposa County

Bear Valley - Simpson and Trabucco Store
Simpson and Trabucco Store

We next drove north on Highway 49 to Bear Valley, which is a very small town. The remaining old buildings and ruins were made of Mariposa schist slabs set in lime mortar and plastered over with stucco. Slab schist is also stacked dry such as in walls. A local resident told us that the darker-colored schist is harder than the light colors. He also said he knew of no schist quarries mainly people used schist that was found in outcroppings throughout the area.

Bear Valley - Monument

Bear Valley Monument

The monument at Bear Valley reads:

Bear Valley

Headquarters of Col. John C. Fremont, world-famous American, who, in 1847, purchased a floating Mexican grant of 44,000 acres for $3000. After gold was discovered, he floated his grant to include the Mother-Lode Gold Belt from Mariposa to Merced River. After costly litigation, his title was confirmed by Supreme Court in 1859.

He worked his rich placers by grubstaking experienced Mexican miners before the influx of Americans and subsequently he opened up rich quartz mines in 1851. He built a two story hotel and later a large store and his home, called "The White House." Horace Greeley visited here in 1859 and wrote "The Colonel is now operating two stamp mills and netting $100,000 a year."

In 1863, he sold his grant for $6,000.000.




Bear Valley - Building Showing Slab Schist Stone Bear Valley - Schist Stone Showing Through Stucco Bear Valley - Schist Stone Showing Through Stucco
Bear Valley - Wall of building Stucco is coming off the wall made of slab schist stone



Building Made of Slab Schist Stone Example of Schist Slab Stone

Bear Valley - Building made of slab schist stone



Ruins Made of Slab Schist Stone Ruins Made of Slab Schist Stone Ruins Made of Slab Schist Stone
Bear Valley - Ruins made of slab schist stone



Dry Stacked Slab Schist in Wall
Bear Valley - Dry stacked slab schist in wall


[Top of Page]