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Mariposa, Mariposa County

Mariposa - Main Street Across from Trabucco Warehouse
Mariposa - Looking up the main street across the street from the Trabucco Warehouse.

My husband and I started in Mariposa at the old Mariposa Jail and the Trabucco Warehouse. The jail was built of dressed granite from the quarries at Mormon Bar, which were two miles south of Mariposa. We tried to find the quarries, but Mormon Bar was covered over by the road near the fairgrounds, and, so far, local sources have not been able to tell me where the quarries were.

Trabucco Warehouse
Trabucco Warehouse(built of brick with iron doors)
Trabucco Warehouse
Stone Foundation of Trabucco Warehouse
Old Mariposa Jail - Front View
Old Mariposa Jail

The old Mariposa Jail (built of granite from Mormon Bar which was two miles south of Mariposa) In some of the blocks you can see the drill marks created when the stone was quarried. The monument on the jail wall reads:

Monument on Old Mariposa Jail Wall

Mariposa County's Old Stone Jail

This 33 x 26 foot structure was build in 1858 from granite blocks quarried near Mormon Bar at a cost of $14,744.00 by J. O. Lovejoy It originally had two stories and a gallows at the east end. In 1892 a fire gutted the building, taking the life of its only occupant, Thomas Truit. Reconstruction called for removal of the upper story. The surplus granite to be used as retaining walls at the fairgrounds. Several prisoners have escaped over the years, usually by overpowering the guards. In 1935 two inmates escaped with outside help, rivets were cut, an iron plate removed, and a stone block worked loose. Both escapees were captured in Oregon. The old stone jail was condemned in 1963 and replaced by a facility near the Courthouse.

Dedicated by Matuca Chapter 1849

E. Clampus Vitus June 9, 1979

Rededicated with new plaque April 4, 1992 by Matuca Chapter (5997)

Preservation of Western History California Style

Door to Mariposa Jail
Old Mariposa Jail - Vew of Back Right Corner
Mariposa Jail - Imbedded Grates in Stone Wall
Old Mariposa Jail - Drill Marks on Wall Stone
Additional Photographs of Old Mariposa Jail

Note: We were unable to locate the granite quarry at Mormon Bar during this trip. In March 2001 arrangements had been made for us to tour the granite quarry. Unfortunately, the land is for sale and all evidence of the quarry has been removed, according to local sources.

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