Scope and Content
Title: Demarest Family Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1849-1967
Collection number: Mss28
Extent: 1.25 linear ft.
University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of
Shelf location: For current information on the location of
these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Demarest Family Collection, Mss28,
Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific
David Durie Demarest (1824-190?) of New Jersey, came overland to
California via Galveston, El Paso and Yuma with two friends, Dr. William Jones
and George Griffith (1849). The three soon settled at Altaville in Calaveras
County, where they established the Union Water Co. (1852). This organization
created, under the supervision of engineer, George Griffith, a dam fifteen
miles above Calaveras Big Trees on the Stanislaus River and diverted water
thence by flume some twenty miles to Murphys, Angels Camp and Altaville. The
Company sold water for irrigation as well as for mining. Having thus helped
create a comfortable living for himself, Demarest returned to New Jersey (1856)
and induced his brothers, Cornelius Blauvelt (1836-1911) and Abraham Demarest,
to return with him to California. Although Cornelius remained here only eight
years before returning east, he later penned a memoir (c1910) which is one of
our principal sources of information about Demarest family enterprises during
the Gold Rush era (Las Calaveras, 1976-1977). Cornelius Demarest took over the
Altaville Iron Works from 1861 until his return East. At that time, David D.
Demarest assumed control of the foundry, renaming it the Angels Iron Works and
operating it in partnership with Thomas H. Fullen, then with his son Clarence
and Lawrence Monte Verda, throughout the rest of the 19th century. D.C.
Demarest later maintained that Angels Iron Works built more stamp mills than
any other company in the state. Angels also supplied mines in the Klondike and
in Mexico. The Central Pacific Railroad established a branch line to Milton
(1871) largely to facilitate shipment of mining machinery from Altaville to
these distant locations.
David Durie Demarest married Salina Ward (1861) and fathered three
children: David Clarence, Cornelius and Lillie. David Clarence Demarest later
moved to the San Francisco Bay area (c1909), where, for many years, he operated
the D.D. Demarest Mining Machinery Co. Many of the family's early records were
destroyed when D. Clarence's Berkeley home was destroyed by fire (1923).
Scope and Content
The Demarest family collection consists chiefly of an unpublished
typescript, "California Gold," by David Durie Demarest's oldest son, David
Clarence Demarest(1866-1962). It embraces 51 chapters divided into three
volumes. The work's preface is followed by a typescript copy of David Durie
Demarest's overland diary (1849), the original of which is in the Bancroft
Library at the University of California. The first volume of "California Gold"
is devoted to descriptions and history of the mining towns and mines of
Calaveras County. The second volume contains biographies of pioneers and
leaders of the area. The third volume consists of 126 captioned photographs.
The collection also contains additional photographs and family