"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

California's Mark Twain Cabin Nearly Destroyed by Fire

What is believed to have been a brushfire in California's Tuolumne County threatened 200 buildings, including the cabin where Sam Clemens sketched out the short story that brought him to prominence, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."

Thankfully, firefighters got the blaze completely contained late Tuesday night, and expect it to be fully extinguished by Thursday, according to the Union Democrat.

Although technically not the same cabin (the original was burned down in 1922 and an exact replica was built on the spot using the original foundation, fireplace and chimney), the cabin nevertheless is cherished by the folks in the surrounding area. During his days of trying his luck at gold mining, Twain stayed there with friends from December 1864 to March 1865. Although he was unsuccessful at striking it rich, the young writer did happen to hear the story of the jumping frog in a local bar in the nearby town of Angels Camp. The notes he took in the cabin formed the basis for the story he would later publish.

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