Murphys California Full Screen Slide Show
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Daniel and John and were members of the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Party, the first party of immigrants to bring wagons from the East and to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains into Sutter's Fort in Sacramento in 1844. They made their income as merchants, but like so many others, they started prospecting at the time the California Gold Rush started. They first began in the town of Vallecito, which was called by many at the time as "Murphys Old Diggings," prior to them moving on in 1848 to another location which turned into "Murphys New Diggings," "Murphy's Camp," until ultimately just plain "Murphys."
The placer mining in this area produced riches beyond your wildest dreams. Gold Miners were limited in size to claims of just 8 square feet (0.75 m2) but in spite of that restriction many still became rich. However far more money was made by the Murphy brothers as merchants than they earned as miners. In fact, John became such a success that he left town by the end of 1849 subsequently never seen agian, leaving with his personal fortune of around $2 million. Somewhere around $20 million in gold was found in and around the Murphys vicinity. Two of the wealtiest diggings were named Owlburrow and Owlsburg Flat