Site information:In and around Hornitos Park, along Bear Valley Rd, Hornitos
Plaque information:Numerous private plaques and signs, as well as plaques for many of the individual historic sites in town.
First sign text:Hornitos
Welcome to one of the most famous ghost towns of the 1800's. Hornitos is Spanish for "Little Ovens." It got its name from the above ground graves that were shaped like the little cooking ovens used in Mexico. During this time, population was about 15,000 and had the first Wells Fargo office in thecounty. $40,000 in gold was shipped to the mint daily. Hornitos was host to Joaquin Murrietta, one of the Calif. most colorful bandits. Hornitos is located in the S.W. part of Mariposa County. The county was the largest in California during the gold rush period. (1849)
Second (tilted wooden) sign text:Hornitos
Started in 1850 by outcast Mexicans from nearby Quartzburg and given the name Hornitos, meaning "little ovens" from the dome like rock and mud bake-ovens being used here by some Germans. The whites soon gained predominance. The population grew to many thousands and it became one of the richest and toughest of early day mining camps. Here Joaquin Murietta, noted bandit chief had a hideout and many friends. Wells Fargo and Co. established an office as early as 1852 to handle the millions produced by nearby mines. D. Ghirardelli of chocolate fame started his fortune by merchandising here. For over fifty years were enacted the annual religious customs of old Mexico.
Third (faded wooden) sign text:Hornitos
"Little Ovens of the Mother Lode" One of the nations most famous ghost towns. Early population 15,000. Here was the first Wells Fargo Express office in county. 40,000 in gold sent to mint daily by armed stage coach. Juaquin Murietta's playground. California's most colorful bandit. Mariposa county biggest county in the world during greatest Gold Rush of all time. Hornitos Spanish for "little ovens" so named because the Mexican burial tombs were shaped like square ovens - Hornitos oldest landmark - see cross on hill.