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Pioneer Mail Carrier of the Sierra

Join Frank Tortorich to learn more about John A. “Snowshoe” Thompson.

John A. Thompson was born Norway in 1827. His family emigrated to the U.S. just ten years later and by 1851 John was a young man, ready to try his luck in the gold fields of California. While he undoubtedly brought enthusiasm and determination with him to his new home, he also brought with him something the people of that region had never seen before: skis! Unfamiliar with the long thin strips of wood he strapped to his feet, people called them “snow-shoes” and Thompson acquired a nickname.

Of the many interests he pursued in the years that followed-as a farmer, rancher, guide, trader, Indian agent and politician-the thing Thompson is remembered most for was his service as a dependable mail carrier, who made record time traversing the Sierra Nevada on those “snow-shoes,” carrying the winter mail and keeping the lines of communication open for those who lived in the region. This is his story.

Frank Tortorich captures the fortitude and stamina of this legendary Norwegian American whose strength and perseverance serve as a role model for today’s youth.”Snowshoe” and the historic town of Genoa are grateful!-Sue Knight, Friends of Snowshoe Thompson

The author’s knowledge and understanding of the Sierra emigration era serves as a background for what he has been able to express in this book. Tusen takk!-Nina MacLeod

Caveat Lector (let the reader beware). Frank Tortorich’s gripping account of the legendary life, legacy, and accomplishments of John “Snowshoe” Thompson is most captivating, and his excitement, enthusiasm, and interest in California pioneers and Gold Rush history are contagious. Ken Johnston, author of Legendary Truths, Peter Lassen and His Gold Rush Trail in Fact and Fable.

Click Here to purchase book.  

Seminars are free and open to the public. There is a day-use fee to enter the Park. Pack a lunch, bring the family and plan on spending the day among the Giant Sequoias. For more information call Calaveras Big Trees Association at (209)795-1196.

Location:  Ralston Classroom РEducation Building near Visitor Center.

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