The Wells Fargo Express Company building located in Chinese Camp was constructed in 1849 by the Walkerly brothers and later owned by the Morris brothers. Its first use was as a general merchandise store and the office of Adams Express Company, a predecessor to Wells Fargo and Company.
Henry Wells and William Fargo founded their banking and express company in 1852 to provide delivery services to booming area mining camps. Wells Fargo and Company transported gold, mail and freight from offices in small mining camps to larger centers of commerce across the country.
Although the building was abandoned many years ago, it still stands as a reminder of the bustling days when miners hurried in to weigh their efforts of a day’s work and area residents anxiously waited for letters from distant family and friends.
This historical landmark is located on the southwest corner of Main Street and Solinksy Alley in Chinese Camp.
A treasure of natural wonders and lively gold rush history, Tuolumne County offers visitors vivid scenery. A portion of Yosemite National Park lies within the county, along with giant redwood groves and impressive geological features. Both Bret Harte and Mark Twain wrote stories set in this area during the Gold Rush.
About this Establishment
California Historical Landmarks Program
Historical Landmarks are sites, buildings, features, or events that are of statewide significance and have anthropological, cultural, military, political, architectural, economic, scientific or technical, religious, experimental, or other value. Historical Landmarks are eligible for registration if they meet at least one of the following criteria:
1) Is the first, last, only, or most significant of its type in the state or within a large geographic region
2) Is associated with an individual or group having a profound influence on the history of California
3) Is a prototype of, or an outstanding example of, a period, style, architectural movement or construction or is one of the more notable works or the best surviving work in a region of a pioneer architect, designer or master builder
California’s Landmark Program began in the late 1800s with the formation of the Landmarks Club and the California Historical Landmarks League. In 1931, the program became official when legislation charged the Department of Natural Resources—and later the California State Chamber of Commerce—with registering and marking buildings of historical interest or landmarks.
In 1948, Governor Earl Warren created the California Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee to increase the integrity and credibility of the program. Finally, this committee was changed to the California Historical Resources Commission in 1974. Information about registered landmarks numbered 770 onward is kept in the California Register of Historical Resources authoritative guide. Landmarks numbered 669 and below were registered prior to establishing specific standards, and may be added to the California Register when criteria for evaluating the properties are adopted.
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