Coarse Gold in the 1930s

Nuggets from the Past

July 1, 2010 

In the new As We Were Told, Vol. II, "The Coarse Gold Country and the People I knew There" is a story written by Orville "Rusty" Newby. His account of the town in May, 1929 is colorful and enticing.

"The old Landon ranch, four miles west of Coarse Gold...looked like a park. The grass was tall and green, the many trees were green with their new leaves, flowers were everywhere and the springs were all full of water.

Coarse Gold was such a unique and pretty place in those days. As I first came into it from the south, the little white schoolhouse, located at Highway 41 and Road 415 on the left, caught my eye. Then the beautiful hotel -- the Coarsegold Inn -- was built in 1930 but burned in 1959; it was on the Historic Village property, a little farther along with its shady lawn and huge golf course that went up the sloping valley almost to the old Texas Flat Mine was something else.

The big store that sat across the road next to Coarse Gold Creek with its porch clear across the front and a big dance hall above was the meeting place for the whole county in those days. The two story building was built from wood salvaged from the mining town of Narbo but it burned in 1964.

Next to the store on the north was Doc Krohn' Standard Oil service station and garage, and in the back was an old barn where Doc had all of his machine tools. Across the road, on the west, was Doc Krohn's house and on the side of it, Doc's wife's library. Just up the road a little ways was the old Burgette store with the house and barn next to it.

The centerpiece of the town was the well and hand pump that sat in the center of the side street. The pump had a little platform around it and a cute roof built over it. There was also a big water trough there to water stock, and most everyone stopped there to either water their horses or fill the radiator of their car.

It was customary to pump the big handle of the pump and fill the trough if you used the water, and all the kids enjoyed that. The hand pump is now in the Coarsegold Historic Museum.

With all the big trees that kept the town in shade, it was a jewel of the mountains. I remember that someone every evening would go out and water down the whole street in front of the store and hotel to keep the dust down, and if you happened to arrive at this time you would see Coarse Gold at its best.

I sat there on the porch of the store many times in the dusk, watching this procedure, while the big stamp mill at the old Texas Flat mine rumbled in the distance."

As We Were Told, Vol. II, is available at the Coarsegold Historic Museum, Fresno Flats, Oakhurst Gift Works and Dorsey's Hallmark.

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