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Image of partial rock wall with iron door of ruin of Swerer's Store in Tuttletown

There were portions of two stone walls of Swerer’s Store still standing when we made this image in 1975 from what had been the store’s interior. A few years later when we stopped by the walls were down and the iron doors were gone leaving nothing of Swerer’s Store. Some residents in the area sent us an email saying what was left of the store had been knocked down when a car that missed the curve in the road hit the store. The base of the State Historic Marker next to where the store had been along Highway 49 is made of stones from the store.

Anson A. H. Tuttle built the first log cabin in what was to become Tuttletown in 1848. The area prospered because of the rich claims located in nearby Mormon Gulch and Jackass Gulch. Swerer’s Store was built in 1852. You can see a photo of the store from 1934 here.

Mark Twain traded at the store while staying nearby at the Gillis cabin on Jackass Hill in the winter of 1864 - 65. His stay at the Gillis cabin proved very fruitful. While visiting nearby Angels Camp a man told him a funny story about a frog jumping contest. This story was the basis for “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” written while he stayed at the Gillis cabin. The publication of this story by an east coast magazine made him famous and was the start of his very successful career. Click here to read an excerpt about the ’49ers from Twain’s book “Roughing It” in the Letters section.

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