About a mile west of a place called Tuttletown in California, a signpost "Jackass Hill Road" points the way to a place that was once a thriving mining camp, known as Jackass Hill.
Let's first address the namesake. The hill received its name from the many jackasses whose pack trains stopped here overnight on their way to and from various points in the mining system. As many as 200 of the beasts are said to have been camped here at one time. Incessant braying could be heard for miles in all directions.
In 1851-52 hundreds of miners rushed to the newly discovered diggings. The gold here was coarse and plentiful, often appearing in large pockets. All this excitement attracted a young Mark Twain. As he had just gotten released from his job as a riverboat captain he was eager to get swept along in the California Gold Rush and ended up here.
Mark Twain spent three months here in 1865 as a miner. The cabin where he slept is located at the top pf Jackass Hill. It was at a saloon in nearby Angels camp that Twain heard the story of a jumping frog. Making notes and sketches of the story in his cabin he later wrote a short story called "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." This story brought him worldwide fame.
(The picture is the mining cabin he stayed in while writing his famous short story)