This pioneer cemetery was said to have been established in 1851 in the town of San Andreas. Most of the graves are unmarked; stones appeared over only three of them in 1936. This cemetery is located almost opposite where the town of North Branch originally stood, before the site was mined for gold.
Several people buried at the Poverty Bar Cemetery were reinterred from the Poverty Bar Cemetery before the Poverty Bar cemetery was inundated by Camanche Reservoir. A marker honoring those interred was erected in 1962 and reads:
"Mr. and Mrs. Clahoun, Eva Lucy Drennan, Mr. Husskey, John Laplasse, Christian Kientz, and Henry Christian Kientz -- Were known to have been buried at Poverty Bar Cemetery now covered by the waters of Camanche Reservoir. They and other persons who were found in unmarked graves, have been reinterred in this plot."
Pioneer Cemetery is located on State Highway 12, 0.7 miles west of the junction with State Highway 49, and 1.8 miles west of San Andreas.
Along with Mark Twain’s famous "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" story that spun into an annual fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee, Calaveras County is rich with Gold Rush history and folklore. Remnants of the railroads and Hispanic culture add to the charm of the county located in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Calaveras Big Trees State Park, a preserve of Giant Sequoia trees, and the uncommon gold telluride mineral Calaverite was discovered in the county in 1861, and is named for it.
Calaveras is a Spanish word meaning "skull." The name was first given to the river because of the great quantities of human skulls found along the lower reaches of the river.
Calaveras County is famous for its lode and placer mines, and the largest gold nugget from the United States was taken from the Morgan Mine at Carson Hill in 1854, weighing 214 pounds. For many years it was the principal copper-producing county in California. Cement deposits from its vast limestone deposits has become one of the county's major industries in recent years.