Jackass Hill
(Mark Twain Cabin)

Before gold was found here, Jackass Hill was a popular stopping point for packers traveling from mine to mine. It is said that up to 200 donkeys could be on the hill at a time, and their loud braying led to its name. Coarse gold was found, and in 1851 and 1852 the place was busy with mining. Some pockets yielded $10,000 in just 100 square feet. The gold played out quickly, and the camp diminished as quickly as it appeared.

The best remnant of Jackass Hill is the Mark Twain Cabin, which actually belonged to William and James Gillis. It was here that Mark Twain stayed during the winter of 1864-65, at which point Jackass Hill was all but a ghost town. It was also here where Twain penned "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" and gathered material for "Roughing It." The original cabin was destoyed by fire around the turn of the century, but was rebuilt under the supervision of William Gillis in 1922. Supposedly, the fireplace remains from the original cabin. After years of neglect, the cabin was restored and rededicated by the Sonora Sunrise Rotary Club in 2005.

I Visited Jackass Hill