Western Ghost town of Hornitos
The rowdy western ghost town of Hornitos California once had up to 15,000 people in the 1880s. It now sits at a population of 75 as of 2010.
The town has several major claims to fame:
– One of the rowdiest towns in the Mariposa Mining District. Citizens from nearby Quartzburg expelled the undesirable elements, who simply moved up the creek to build a new, more prosperous town. It had a big reputation for lawlessness that lead to figures like well known Mexican Bandit, Joaquin Murrieta.
– Domenico Ghirardelli had a general store to supply the miners here from 1856 to 1859. He sold chocolates here and perfected his recipes before moving to San Francisco and entering the chocolate business full time. The ruins of this building can still be seen.
– The FreeMason Lodge is claimed to be the physically smallest in California, and possibly the United States. It is still active after 160 years.