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I’ve never stopped in the little gold-rush town of Soulsbyville until my treatments at SpineForce brought me here. My friend Jan and I decided to kind of meander and poke around town.

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An old sawdust burner caught my eye. They are huge and hard to miss, of course. I didn’t know there were any left. They’ve all been removed or just fallen down. This one is being cared for and preserved. Bully for Soulsbyville.

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Soulsbyville is located above Sonora, CA. on highway 108. And while it was a rip-roaring gold town at one time when the gold petered out, it became a lumbering town. Thus the sawdust burner.

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And here, you can just pull over and enjoy a feast of blackberries along the road. Of course, Jan and I ate the big fat black ones before I remembered to get out my camera.

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Back on 108 headed down hill, I stopped to take a picture of this funky mailbox. A nearby company manufactures that pipe this fellow is made from. Jan wondered why I took a picture of this mailbox.

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This question from a woman who builds pyramids in her yard. Huh?  I like pictures of funky mailboxes. And, in fact, I’m in the process of designing one of my own since my mail box post is rotting and needs replacement.

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I was telling Jan how I missed the old Byrd House since they widened the highway and voila! There it was, not gone after all. I was truly surprised and even though it is crowded by a power pole and practically touching the electric wires, I had to record this strange building. It was once Byrd Realty Office, many years ago. I’m glad it has been preserved. I guess I like Eclectic things.

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We eventually got to the gold-rush town of Columbia. I told her I knew where there was a dragon but it is in someone’s yard and I’ve never gotten a good picture of it. Well…

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Jan pointed out that his snout was blackened and he must snort flames.

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Isn’t he handsome?  We found the pipe and propane tank hiding near his tail. And, no one came out and took a shot at us. People are pretty laid back here.

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As we were leaving the “dragon” road, we spotted this old miner’s cabin. The Motherlode used to be full of little miners cabins. They, too, are falling apart, being removed and are just supposedly useless relics from the past. This miner knew to build on top of a rock to prevent his foundation from rotting away.

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I’m glad this old cabin is still around to remind us of the rudimentary places the miners called home. This one is quite big compared to others I’ve seen, and must have housed a wife and children, too. The brow over the window, or former window, is still holding on.

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From the front, you can see a modern address and electric meter. It is very possible someone still lives here.

Jan wanted to visit Spineforce and if she hadn’t been with me I’d have probably just headed for home instead of seeing things from a tourists eyes. It was fun.





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  1. My parents lived in Sonora in the 1970s. They eventually bought property on Tuolumne Rd (Algeo’s Appliance Center is there now). Dad worked as a truck driver for Sequoia Pine Mill west of Jamestown, then for Pickering Lumber Company which became Louisiana Pacific before he retired.

    I have not been to Sonora in many years. Thanks for showing me around the area.

    • 2gadabout

      Small world. Algeo’s is closed now. I’ve bought from them and used their repair services, too. Nice people. I also worked as a feature writer and did a feature on a logger who delivered to Pickering. It was quite an education. I wrote a children’s story about the huge machinery at Pickering. The Motherlode is a great place to raise kids.

      • It is a small word.

        I wasn’t raised in Sonora. All us kids were on our own when Mom and Dad moved to Sonora. We were raised in Yuba City, Ca.

        Before they moved there, Dad hauled lumber for Sequoia Pine Mills for several years. The boss made sure the loads worked out that he was home as much as possible but it was still long hours and several nights away. After we kids were gone Dad just flat out told Mom they were moving to sonora.

        When Sequoia Pine Mills sold to Pickering his boss… the owner… made it part of the sale agreement the Dad would have a job at Pickering.

        After Dad retired they moved back to Yuba City.

        I know they really enjoyed their time in Sonora. I visited them often and I enjoyed it myself.

      • 2gadabout

        I think I value the area more now that I’m traveling so much with Jim. I have a week and a half before I fly back and I’ve been taking pictures of old miner’s shacks and barns as I move from place to place.Some day, they’ll all be gone. I’ll think of you when I post them.

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