March 10, 2014 at 8:01am
One of the things i love doing is visiting ghost towns.I consult books and seek out back dirt roads and have traipsed all over the West indulging in my preoccupation.I have been throughout California,Utah .idaho ,Montana,South Dakota,Wyoming,Colorado,Arizona and New Mexico in my pursuit of the glory of the Old West.Tombstone and Deadwood and Virginia City are old haunts of mine,forgive the pun,
I have a neat story to tell.About 10 years ago i was driving through Gold Rush country ,about 2 hours from me in the Sierra foothills where gold was discovered and i was heading to a folk festival to camp for a few days in the forest. I was driving past Angel’s Camp ,the place that Mark Twain wrote about in his famous story”,The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”.It was raining and i was eager to get to the festival.I drove by a sign in the pouring rain that said Pioneer Cemetery and as i drove by i felt a strange feeling and i wheeled my car around on the two lane highway and for some reason ,inexplicably i drove to the side of the road to the sign.I clambered out and in the rain walked up a small hill and there was a fence half fallen down with a lock barely on and i opened the gate and there was a small enclosure with 5 graves.The only one that was legible said “Here lies Jack Rose of Montreal.Murdered by mexican bandits 1865.I was stunned .Who was he? I drove about 5 miles to town and looked up the local museum,there i found a curator and i asked her and she said he was a jewish man from Montreal and he was panning for gold with two others and they were ambushed and killed by Mexican bandits,The parents came from Montreal to bury him.I was shocked.What strange force compelled me to stop ? I brought my father here once to see this ,a lantzman from Montreal.