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Angels Camp and Copperopolis, a history told in photographs
By Joel Metzger   - 02/27/2009

Calaveras Enterprise

Three historians have teamed up to write a comprehensive book that reveals the historical past of Angels Camp and Copperopolis, illustrated with hundreds of photos.

“Angels Camp and Copperopolis” authors Judith Marvin, Julia Costello and Salvatore Manna, all Calaveras County residents, have completed several additional historical works focusing on the county area.

The motivation for their latest book was to complete the trilogy of books that authoritatively recount in text and photographs the history of Calaveras for the very first time, the authors said.

Research was carried out using the knowledge that Marvin and Costello have ascertained after living in the area for 30 years and through local archives, historical societies, museums, oral histories and family documents.

According to the authors, readers will be especially fascinated by the numerous photos that have not been previously published, along with local stories that are rarely heard.

The key to writing a successful book is an arduous amount of research, the authors said. Then, once surrounded by piles of collected materials, the writing begins. The story will emerge from the data and can then be presented in an accurate manner.

Marvin has served as a historian for cultural resource projects throughout California, including working for California Department of Transportation, U.S. Forest Service, California State Parks and the National Park Service.
She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a recognized expert on the state's architectural resources.

Costello has worked extensively on historic sites in the western U.S. and in the Middle East. She has served on the California State Historical Resources Commission and as president of the Society for Historical Archeology and Society for California Archaeology.

She received her Ph.D. from U.C. Santa Barbara and is partnered with Marvin in the Calaveras-based Foothill Resources Ltd., a cultural resource firm they founded in 1983 that works on projects throughout the West.

Manna is the co-author of the 2008 true-crime biography, “The King of Sting,” and has penned features for national magazines, major newspapers and the California Historical Society's quarterly publication.

He graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and serves as president of the Society for the Preservation of West Calaveras History, which he founded in 2006.

If this book could have one lasting impression, the authors' desire is that readers would gain an appreciation for the history of Calaveras County and a thirst to know more.

The book is available for $21.99 at area retailers and online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at arcadiapublishing.com. For more information call (888) 313-2665.

“Although established on lands occupied for as many as 10,000 years by native peoples, the immigrants of the 19th century ushered in the modern era. The prosperity of the Angels Camp vicinity was first based upon the rich placer gold found along the Stanislaus River and in Coyote Creek, Carson Creek, and Angels Creek and its tributaries of China Gulch, Six Mile Creek, Cherokee Creek, Greenhorn Creek, and their drainages. For the Copperopolis area, its boom was launched with the discovery of copper ore in the 1860s, which helped support the efforts of the Union during the Civil War. Despite a great deal of gold prospecting, it was not until the 1880s that there was any appreciable amount of ore produced in that region.”

– from “Angels Camp and Cooperopolis,” Arcadia Publishing 2009

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