22.5 in HIGH x 15.25 in WIDE x 2.25 in DEEP
(57.15 cm HIGH x 38.73 cm WIDE x 5.71 cm DEEP)
New Helvetia cemetery
Gift of Lowell J. Hardy

on exhibit: behind gold rush platform, 9-78.

Wooden headstone of 1849. (D. Cooper 1-95) Headstone reads: In Menory of James McDowell who departed this life on the 26th of May, 1849, aged 42 years. Per Dan Snyder of Sacramento, James McDowell was the gunsmith at Sutter's Fort. From the Informatioin Station: Lured to California by dreams of glory and easy riches, many forty-niners found poor health and primitive medical care instead. The only memorial of James McDowell, this tombstone was discovered under some bushes in the cemetary at New Helvetia, or Sutter's Fort. McDowell and his wife travelled overland to California in 1845, where they established a ranch on the west bank of the Sacramento River. After his death, his widow established the township of Washington, now known as Broderick, on the site. Commenting on the state of Californians' health, an overland immigrant wrote in 1850,"There are thousands of persons here who hardly ever saw a sick day in the States and are completely broken-down, and many of them, if they live, will never fully recover their health."
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