Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Black Diamond Regional Preserve



In the latter half of the 1800s the canyon at the end of Somersville rd. was the largest mining region in all of California...There were 5 towns involved there                                                                       Judsonville , Somersville,Nortonville,West Hartley and Stuartville...This Canyon saw a lot of hardship and much pain and suffering went on there in the short lived existence of these 5 towns ...As the location of California's largest coal mining operation, nearly four million tons of coal ("black diamonds") were removed from the earth. The residents of the mining towns were from all over the world, and their life was characterized by hard work and long hours...Buried here are children who died in epidemics, women who died in childbirth, and men who died in mining disasters and of other things..This canyon is the northernmost location of Coulter pine, black sage, desert olive and dudleya. In addition, several species that are restricted to the Mt. Diablo area occur here, including the Mt. Diablo globe lily, Mt. Diablo helianthella and Mt. Diablo manzanita. In the springtime, the hills are covered with some of the most remarkable wildflower displays in California..Coyotes and snakes are commonly seen. Mountain lions, bobcats, foxes and deer are occasionally spotted, while birds of prey soar overhead...Stewartville Backpack Camp is for the general public during the spring, summer and fall...The camp is located 3.2 miles from the Preserve headquarters, near the Stewartville and Upper Oil Canyon trails... If you know anything of the Haunted  legends of this canyon and how 119 exorcisms have been performed out there and all the numerous eyewitness accounts claiming to have seen the White Witch of Nortonville(Sarh Norton) out there then you should do some research on this place before venturing out into that canyon to spend the night...Here is the actual newspaper clipping story of how she died taken from the Clayton Pioneer...




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