Copperopolis California Photo Tour


Copperopolis Town Square

Copperopolis made its mark during the 1860s when the adjacent copper mines were providing material to the Union Army's ammunition. Around 10,000 individuals lived there then and dozens of businesses were in operation. The Calaveras Heritage Council said the copper area was the second most critical in the nation.

The town that owed its existence to the Civil War developed around the "Plaza," with street names associated with the war: Union (renamed Main), Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman," as indicated by a history on the council's website.

However, in 1867 a significant portion of the town burned, the price of copper dropped when the war was over and the townspeople left.

Envisioned during the mid-2000s as a walkable community with containing hundreds of homes with miles of walking trails, Copperopolis Town Square now more resembles an alien spaceship sitting off from anyone else in a field.

A developer from Los Angeles proposed space for 90 businesses along with a 580 home subdivision close to Highway 4 off of Little John Road.

However, today, 22 businesses operate in the square, and the houses were never constructed. The nearest homes are two or three miles away, as is a grammar school, phone company and other businesses.

The square was approved however Sawmill Lake subdivisions saw  numerous roadblocks. From 2007 until 2013, development plans were submitted to the county four times.

In early 2013, they planned a hotel and a resort along with 10 miles of walking trails.

The development would have required the removal of 4,000 oak trees and the the Calaveras Board of Supervisors turned down the proposal in 2013, however left open the possibility of returning with a revised plan. Their argument against the plan was that the venture would urbanize a wildlife area, did not mitigate the loss of the trees, and left open questions regarding infrastructure and sewer to serve the added homes.

The square features a restaurant, coffee shop, wine bar, nail salon, hair salon, and ice cream shop

Copperpolis Town Square
Copperpolis Town Square
Copperpolis Town Square
Copperpolis Town Square
Copperpolis Town Square
Copperpolis Town Square
Copperpolis Town Square
Copperpolis Town Square
Copperpolis Town Square
Copperpolis Town Square

Historic Buildings from 1864

Left, Historic Honigsberger Store, on the right is the historic Copperopolis Armory The grey building on the left, is the Historic Honigsberger Store is situated at 665 Main St. in Copperopolis. Businessperson L. Honigsberger built the store in 1865, supplanting the first store he constructed in 1861. Designed as a Neoclassical style brick building. The store served Copperopolis amid its first copper boom in the 1860, but a 1867 fire and declining copper operations caused Copperopolis to lose a large portion of its residents and extremely diminished the store's business. The store was sold by the Honigsberger family to the Union Copper Mining Company in 1905, which subsequently became the Calaveras Copper Mining Company. The organization utilized the store as a warehouse amid another copper boom from 1909 to 1929. The store is only one of four surviving structures from the Copperopolis first copper boom in the 1860s. The Honigsberger Store was placed on the National Register of Historic Places April 2, 1992.

The building on the top right is Copperopolis Armory which was constructed during the Civil War at 695 Main St. in Copperopolis. The brick Greek Revival style building was built in 1864 to house the Copperopolis Union Guard, the town's regiment of the Union Army. Copperopolis to a great extent owed its existence to the war; the village grew because of a boom in nearby copper mining in 1860, which originated from the Union Army's requirement for copper ammunition. The armory filled an assortment of purposes for the Union Guard where new recruits were enlisted, training was carried on, and arms and supplies were stored. Military balls, triumph celebrations, and local funeral ceremonies for Abraham Lincoln likewise occurred in the armory. The armory additionally held a 1837 bronze cannon, which was utilized for ceremonial purposes and arms training; the canon is still in the building and is one of only a handful American bronze canons from the period in California. When the war ended, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows purchased the building, which they changed to a social hall. In 1940, the armory was converted into a community center. In December of 1997, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places,


The Historic Copperopolis Congregational Church The Historic Copperopolis Congregational Church (also the Copperopolis Community Center) is located at 411 Main Street in Copperopolis. The church was designed in the Gothic Revival style and built in 1866. it is the only Gothic Revival building left in Copperopolis and is only one of a pair in Calaveras County. The brick church includes a Gothic arch entrance and windows, with a gable roof and bell tower. Congregational services were held at the church until the building was eased to the Presbyterian Church. In 1874, it again became a Congregational church and remained so until 1895. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows purchased the congregation in 1903 and changed over it to a lodge hall. The Odd Fellows sold the building in 1939, and it became a community center. The church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, December 30, 1997.

External Links

Recommended Reading


Copperopolis Photo Tour Reviewed by Gene Wright on . Rating: 5

Facebook Comments