Early Large-Scale View of Weaverville
22. [BIRD’S-EYE VIEW]. KUCHEL, [Charles Conrad] & [Emil] Dresel (artists) & [Joseph] Britton & [Jacques Joseph] Rey (lithographers). Weaverville, 1856, Trinity County, California. [below lower neat line] Drawn from Nature & on Stone by Kuchel & Dresel, 176 Clay St. S F. | Printed by Britton & Rey. N.p., n.d. [San Francisco, ca. 1856]. Lithograph on buff-toned ground, original applied white highlights image within beige frame border (upper corners rounded). Image only: 30.5 x 51.7 cm. Image including title and frame border: 36.5 x 53.3 cm. Image area including frame border: 32.3 x 53.3 cm. Overall sheet size: 49.5 x 65.5 cm. Portion of blank margin (approximately 1 to 1.8 cm) around image slightly darkened, otherwise very good. Professionally conserved. Provenance: Henry M. Newhall (1825-1882), rancher and railroad promoter. See Hart, Companion to California.
Early large-scale view of Weaverville (within Reps’ sequence of Weaverville views, this is the first listed). Reps, Views and Viewmakers of Urban America #443 (the version with vignettes is Reps #445). Greenwood, California Imprints 1833-1862, Appendix A (Copyrights), p. 491 (#111) notes Fagg & Feast copyrighted a Weaverville view on October 28, 1856; see Reps #445-446). Peters also lists the Fagg & Feast/Kuchel & Dresel version (California on Stone, p. 146). Watson, California in the Fifties, Plate 40. Baird (California Pictorial Letter Sheets) lists three lettersheet views of Weaverville: #45 (issued before December 3, 1854); #110 (vignette on larger sheet, published in 1855); #325 (ca. 1853).
A typical Old West town, Weaverville was founded in 1850 during the Gold Rush. It was noted as the home of several thousand Chinese miners. Today it is an unincorporated area of Trinity County, California, of which it is the county seat. Watson (California in the Fifties) notes:
Weaverville owes its origin to the rush into northwestern California, which the discoveries of Pearson B. Reading started. By the summer of 1851 it was a thriving mining center, inhabited largely by Missourians, and had a reputation of being the roughest camp in California. And for years afterwards this reputation held.... William H. Brewer was in Weaverville in September, 1862. He...comments on the high cost of freights, and says further: ‘Sluices run through the town... There are multitudes of Chinese... There are twenty-eight saloons and liquor holes in the place and fighting and gambling are favorite pastimes....’ Today Weaverville, Trinity’s county seat since its organization, is a quiet and prosperous town with extensive interests in gold mining.
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