7. Belleville
     (7.1 Miles)

    A lone log cabin sits in the meadow on your left (this cabin was moved to this site to represent the kind of structure once common in Holcomb Valley ).

     The largest gathering of prospectors settled east of the original discovery, in a rich, flat meadow.  Inevitably a town sprung up, and Holcomb’s memoirs tell of “Saloons, gambling dens, and bagnios of the lowest kind.”  On the outskirts of the haphazard town, earthen dugouts and hastily built shacks were thrown together by the miners.  There was even a brewery and the infamous “Octagon House,” an 8-sided saloon and dance hall, with rooms where glitter girls entertained.

     For the town’s first July 4th Celebration, the blacksmith’s wife, Mrs. Jed Van Dusen, stitched together a flag made from the shiny shirts of the dance hall girls, and red and blue from miners’ shirts.  Out of gratitude for her patriotic endeavor, the settlement was named Belleville , in honor of her pretty little daughter, Belle.

     In 1861, at the peak of the gold rush, 1,500 people lived in Holcomb Valley, and Belleville missed taking the county seat from San Bernardino by a mere two votes.  The population was typical of a mining town, with good men and industrious workers, balanced by degenerates and professional lawbreakers.

 



This is one of our favorite stops.  We have visited this very small cabin.  It is hard to imagine a family living in this one room cabin knowing that Holcomb Valley gets snow and very cold and windy winter days.

 

 

 

Here is a remnant of the real Hangman's Tree


Even though the Holcomb Valley was a bustling gold rush town, this is one of more recent residents to be seen.

1. Holcomb View Trail - 2. Last Chance Placer
Wilbur's Grave (Not on the tour)
3. Two Gun Bill's Saloon - 4. Jonathan Tibbett's Grasshopper Quartz Mill
5. Hangman's Tree - 6. Original Gold Diggings - 7.Belleville - 8. Arrasters
9. Ross' Grave - 10. Pygmy Cabin Site - 11. Metzger Mine
12. Gold Mountain A.K.A. Lucky Baldwin Mine

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