Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday – John & Carolina Rutishauser

Johonnes Ulrich Rutishauser
Born: 18 Dec 1818 in Amriswil, St. Gall, Switzerland
Died: 6 Sep 1895 in Scales, Sierra County, California
Occupation: brewery owner and saloonkeeper
Find A Grave Memorial# 54840507 (created by Teena Smith on July 12, 2010)

Carolina Meyer
Born: 1822 in Switzerland
Died: 4 Jun 1886 in Scales, Sierra County, California
Find A Grave Memorial# 54840455 (created by Teena Smith on July 12, 2010)

John Rutishauser, my great-great-great uncle, is one my few relatives who actually did well financially during the California Gold Rush. Arriving in Scales in during the early days of 1849, he no doubt engaged in some mining. But his situation improved after opening his own lager beer brewery. By 1860 he was prosperous enough to marry one Carolina Meyer. Later he partnered with Joseph Gibson to run a saloon and eventually owned his own drinking establishment.

John gained some local fame during his ill-fated attempt to drive some stock across a freezing fast-moving Slate Creek (small river) when it was at its winter high mark. John lost his balance plunging both himself and his mule into the flowing icy water. Both were swept downstream and John was saved by becoming lodged against a fallen log. No mention was made of what became of his poor mule.

Both John and wife Carolina are buried in the cemetery for the town of Scales located in Sierra County, California. Today that cemetery is the only visible clue that a thriving town existed there during and for a long time after the California Gold Rush. But if you know where to look amid the densely packed pine trees, you’ll see bits of saw-cut wood and stones arranged in square formations. That’s all that remains of buildings with their stone-reinforced foundations and cellars.

A street in Scales? Remains of buildings are visible along both sides of this lane (date: 1989).
Submitted and posted by Richard Hanson

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