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The Calaveras County Historical Society was formed in 1952 and has been going strong for over 70 years. 

In the first year of the Society, Judge J. A. Smith, the Society's first president, set down a statement of purpose that we still adhere to today. 

"History is a record of past events. Many counties in the State of California have their past events preserved in a written history of the county. This is not true of the county of Calaveras as its history has never been written. 

Located in the center of the gold mining district of California, Calaveras is rich in history, tradition, romance and lore. The early growth and development of the State of California to a great extent took place in the gold mining districts and Calaveras county contributed its full share. Many persons who later became leaders in the state at one time became gold miners in Calaveras county. 

It is late to get full particulars of many of the early events in the history of the county. The pioneers and Argonauts have gone to their reward. Much valuable material has been lost. 

However, many descendants of the early residents of Calaveras county are still living, and it is possible to collect from them a vast fund of early history of the county. Many of the issues of early newspapers are no longer in existence, but some of these early newspapers are available in museums and public libraries. 

The prime purpose of the Calaveras County Historical Society is to collect and preserve for posterity the early history of Calaveras county. 

It is inevitable that in a work of this magnitude, the execution of which will be in many hands, there will be many errors and omissions. However, it will be the constant aim of the Calaveras County Historical Society to discriminate between the true and the false, to the end that the work of the Society will reflect a true account of events in Calaveras county and that as much as possible of its history will be preserved."   

What is a historical society?

A historical society (sometimes also preservation society) is an organization dedicated to preserving, collecting, researching, and interpreting historical information or items. Originally, these societies were created as a way to help future generations understand their heritage.

Historical societies vary in specialization, with focuses ranging from specific geographical areas such as countries or towns, universities, railways, ethnic and religious groups, to genealogy, pioneer history, and the preservation of antiques or historic buildings.

Often, many of these organizations ensure that historic architecture is preserved/restored and historic sites are maintained for tours open to the public.

CCHS is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization with a board of directors made up of volunteer society members.  

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