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The reminiscences of the early adventurers on the Pacific Coast must ever possess a peculiar interest for the Californian.   Green in their memory will ever remain the trials and incidents of early life in this land of golden promise.  The pioneers of civilization constituted no ordinary class of adventurers. Resolute, ambitious and enduring, looking into the great and possible future of this Western slope, and possessing the sagacious mind to grasp true conclusions, and the indomitable will to execute just means to obtain desired ends, these heroic pioneers, by their subsequent careers, have proved that they were equal to the great mission assigned them—that of carrying the liberal institutions and real essences of American civil­ization from their Eastern homes and implanting them upon the shores of another ocean. Among the many who have shown their fitness for the tasks assigned them, none merit this tribute to their worth more fully than the subject of this sketch, whose portrait appears in this work. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on September 18, 1832. He left his native place in 1851, came to this State via the Isthmus of Panama, and landed in San Francisco in July of that year. After two days’ sojourn in the city, Mr. Arnold went to Sacramento, thence to Marysville and to Long Bar on the Yuba River, where he engaged board at sixteen dollars per week. He bought a claim for thirty dollars, worked two weeks and took out seven dollars and fifty cents. During the Winter of 1852, he was at Deer Creek, and in the Summer of that year he was mining in Placer county.  In the Fall of 1852, he came to Sonora, in this county, with a companion, arriving after dark. They lay on the ground, as they supposed, in a field, but on the following morning discovered they were in the buryingground.  Mr. Arnold continued mining in placer claims for many years, meeting with varied success. When placer mining was no longer a paying business, he went to the mountains, east of Columbia, and with others discovered and developed the “Rifle” and “Smooth-bore mines,  which were very productive.

In   1878, however, the subject of our sketch found himself over eight hundred dollars in debt, with no credit and no coin to meet the demands of his creditors.  ‘‘ How I was to get the money to pay my debts,” said Mr Arnold, “troubled me more than any one knew.” Full of pluck and energy, however, he started out on a prospecting tour on May 20, 1879.  Going along the western bank of Clark’s Gulch, weary from looking for a gold-bearing vein, he sat down, and, leaning against a little tree, turned over a stone with his pick, and, to his astonishment and joy, he saw gold on the under edge. This led to the discovery of the “ Hope “ mine, one of the richest in this county, and one which enabled Mr. Arnold not only to pay all his indebtedness, but has, already placed in his hands a snug little fortune. On the northern slope of the South Fork of the Stanislaus river is his home, nestled among the trees, and about midway between the base and apex of a lofty mountain.  Near by is Clark’s Gulch, down which runs with fearful turmoil, a little creek, emptying itself into the Stanislaus river, and hurrying on to kiss the hem of the Pacific ocean.  One who is a lover of beautiful scen­ery cannot help but admire this home among the mountains.  Mr. Arnold married Rinalda Cordero, and has two little girls, whose names are Frances and Sarah.

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” Published by B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 326-328.  His Portrait pg. 184 a.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton