were relocated to the Mormon Island Relocation Cemetery from the small cemetery at this location. All were unidentified.
8. Natural Dam
Natural Dam was on the South Fork of the American River, about a half mile below New York Ravine. It was an outcropping of rocks creating a dam across the river. In early mining days, the six-foot high dam was blasted in several places so that the bed of the river above it could be mined. Several Chinese mining companies worked the river at this location, including Leon & Co., China Co., Ah Pac & Co., and Ah Shin & Co.
Chinese funerary tradition dictated that after a body had been reduced to bones it would be exhumed, placed in an appropriate container, and returned to China to be buried with the person's ancestors. This tradition was followed in most of the gold country. People of Chinese and European/American ancestry were usually buried in separate locations. Of the six graves exhumed at Natural Dam, E. Pratt was the only marked grave,
9. Salmon Falls Diggings
Salmon Falls Diggings, established in early 1849, was located about eight miles above Mormon Island on the South Fork of the American River. It was a well-known and popular mining location stretching for three miles along the river. The site was named for the bountiful salmon that were caught at the falls and had for many decades
provided food for the local Native American tribes. In short time, the town grew from a few modest dwellings to a population of about three thousand people.
The town cemetery was located on an oak-covered hillside just east of town, partly below and partly above the high water line of present day Folsom Lake. Markers were found for fourteen people and the remains from an additional sixty-two unmarked graves were found. Perhaps some of the unmarked graves were because an epidemic swept through Salmon Falls in 1852, killing twenty to twenty-five people.
10. Albert Tweed's grave was found near the old mining settlement of Doton's Bar. His headstone read Albert Tweed, from Malden, Mass., Died Sept. 4, 1860, AE. 35 Years."
A photo of his headstone is to the right.
11. Abigail Packwood, wife of John Packwood and mother of eight children, died November 5, 1851 at age forty-one. John and the children returned to Missouri.
12. John S. Smith died August 30, 1856 at age twenty-eight. Little is known about John Smith except that his wife remained in the area for at least a year after he died, as evidenced by her use of a general store account.
13. Chan Lin Din's gravestone was found a few feet above the junction of New York Ravine and the South Fork of the American River; it
is the only known Chinese grave relocated in 1854. His death date is unknown, but partial translation of the gravestone revealed he was from Sun Wai, Hoi Hai Village, China. A photo of his gravestone is to the right.
14. Beckholdt Girl is the second isolated grave found near the junction of New York Ravine and the South Fork of the American River. While living and mining at New York Ravine, the daughter of a family named Beckholdt died and was buried near their cabin, located one hundred feet from Crooks' Bridge. Her name, date of death, and age are unknown.
15. Arthur R. Bishop, Jr.'s grave was located above Rattlesnake Bar on the north side of the North Fork of the American River. Born March 12, 1917, Arthur R. Bishop, Jr.'s grave was located above Rattlesnake Bar on the north side of the North Fork of the American River. Born March 12, 1917, Arthur died at age seven on August 28, 1924. His mother, Alice Jones, moved his remains to a Catholic cemetery in Sacramento in 1954.
With thanks to staff at the El Dorado County Historical Museum, the Folsom History Museum, and numerous individuals who shared historical information from their vast knowledge of the area's history, as well as photographs and maps. The kiosk holding this sign was built by Eagle Scout Josh Michael, of The Golden Empire Boy Scout Troop #645, with help from his family and friends. This sign was designed by the El Dorado County Community Development Agency in 2017.