HISTORY

 


Our part of California has been greatly influenced and changed by the gold rush and  we want to recognize it and demonstrate how it brings us to the place and time we are now. It attracted the people and influenced the development of towns that created the church, which is the object of our restoration. Click on the links below for some interesting stories of the past.

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Rose Bar Township

Rose Bar

 

Rose’s Bar, or Rose Bar as it is sometimes called, became a small community at the edge of the Yuba River approximately due north of the present town of Smartsville.  After several winters with high water in the river, the Rose Bar inhabitants realized that they would have to relocate to higher ground.

At about the same time, close observers noticed that there was a prehistoric river channel in the rolling hills south of Rose Bar, and that those gravels above the elevation of the present river also contained gold. Mining was already being conducted up creeks and in the ravines and so Timbuctoo became the next center of business for the miners.It quickly became a bustling place. with hotels and saloons and all the necessary services.

When gold was discovered on the American River at Sutter’s mill site in 1848, a similar discovery was made shortly thereafter on the Yuba River by a man named Jonas Spect.  From placer mining at Parks Bar, miners moved upstream to a place called Rose’s Bar, named after John Rose who established there, with two other men, a store to supply the miners.

Rose Bar Township

Sucker Flat

  A second community was established in proximity to Rose Bar,  called Sucker Flat. Not long afterward, hydraulic mining began in the area it became a company town to serve the hydraulic mine workers. 

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Rose Bar Township

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Timbuctoo

 At about the same time, close observers noticed that there was a prehistoric river channel in the rolling hills south of Rose Bar, and that those gravels above the elevation of the present river also contained gold. Mining was already being conducted up creeks and in the ravines and so Timbuctoo became the next center of business for the miners.It quickly became a bustling place. with hotels and saloons and all the necessary services. 

Rose Bar Township

Smartsville

  Due to changing structure of the mining business, capitalists investing and management staff and their families a third new town formed shortly thereafter named Smartsville.The new town of Smartsville, named after James Smart who built the first hotel there became the new home to the hotels churches and schools. As Smartsville grew Timbuctoo declined. Smartsville was what we would now consider the gentrification of the gold rush boom town. 

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Local Pioneers

John Rose

  Since the founding of the towns of Smartsville and Timbuctoo there have been a number of their citizens who have become famous or have distinguished themselves and today are remembered as early pioneers.  Here are some brief stories of a few of these noteworthy pioneers. 

For about five years he traveled between San Francisco and Los Angeles working on Pacific Coast vessels and during that time he learned to speak Spanish and became a Mexican citizen.  In 1843 he settled in Monterey where he worked as a ship carpenter and cabinet-maker.  Because of his carpentry skill he was in demand for the construction of boat landings, wharves and helped construct one of the first vessels in California.  He was prominent in civic affairs and became the first Treasurer of the town of San Francisco.JOHN ROSE was born in Leeds, Scottland in 1817.  Because of the death of his father, young John was only 10 years when he was apprenticed to learn the ship’s carpenter trade from his uncle who owned a shipyard.  At age of 16 he signed on as a seaman on a sailing vessel bound for Valpariso, Chile.  After the ship landed in Los Angeles it sailed north along the coast and sailed into San Francisco Bay In 1839.  He got permission to lay off until the ship made port again, but although he had no intention of spending the rest of his life in California, that was to be his fate.

 In 1848 Rose was building a barley mill for Salvitor Vallejo in the town of Vallejo when gold was discovered.  All his men wanted to quit and head to the mines but Rose convinced them to finish their job by promising to take them to Sacramento as soon as the job was completed. 
After arriving at the American River in June of 1848 Rose and his men heard of discovery of gold on the Yuba River.  Traveling in a straight line they headed to the new gold strike over a vast open territory without the benefit of roads.  Finding the Yuba River just west of what was to become Timbuctoo, Rose continued upstream to Rose’s Bar where gold had been discovered. 

Learn More

 Since the founding of the towns of Smartsville and Timbuctoo there have been a number of their citizens who have become famous or have distinguished themselves and today are remembered as early pioneers.  Here are some brief stories of a few of these noteworthy pioneers. 

Local

Daniel McGanney

Daniel McGanney

Daniel McGanney

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 DANIEL McGANNEY and WILLIAM CRAMSIE came to Smartsville from Ireland in about 1856.  Daniel was older and first came to New York  in about 1846.  McGanney and Cramsie may have met in New York and the story is that they came to San Francisco together via Panama.  After arrival in Smartsville they became involved in the mining business.  Daniel was the first to marry, taking Mary Donnaly as  his bride at St. Joseph’s Church in Marysville in 1859.  

Mary Donnely

Daniel McGanney

Daniel McGanney

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 In 1870, the year that the Smartsville Church of the Immaculate Conception burned to the ground, William married Elizabeth Havey.  Both William and Daniel undoubtedly helped reconstruct the new church building on the same site in 1871.  Pew number 5 in the church bore the names “Mr. William Cramsie and Mr. John Havey.”  Pew number 28 was labeled “Mrs. McGanney.” Between these two couples 13 children were born.  Two of them, Anna McGanney and John Cramsie were married in 1906, thus connecting the two families by marriage as well as by friendship and ethnic background.  

Local Pioneers

Fr Andrew Twomey

 Father Andrew TWOMEY was the presiding priest of the Smartsville Church of the Immaculate Conception from 1887 to 1902.  Fr. Twomey tragically died at the age of 36 when traveling to say mass at distant area churches that were too small to have their own priests.  Dry Creek was swollen with flood water following a heavy rain when Fr. Twomey tried to ford the stream in his buggy.  He was highly respected and dearly loved in Smartsville. 

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Lively social life was enjoyed in the community. Pic-nicks and dances were some favorite activities.

Pioneer Families

Community Development

As the mines developed  the pioneers families settled the towns. Family homes, Churches, Schools, Business and services were established.  They became little oasis of civilization where people built their lives.