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While the Fourth of July is in and of itself a special day for every single town in America, for Mokelumne Hill in Calaveras County this yearÕs Independence Day celebration will be extra special.
Cameron Park residents Ron and Dyana Anderly are returning a 150-year old fire horn to the station in Mokelumne Hill, a horn that was dedicated to the townÕs fire squad on July 4th, 1860, by an individual named N.G. Broughton.
The horn itself was crafted out of brass to prevent rusting, and engraved is a dedication to the Mokelumne Hill Fire Department Station No. 1, dated July 4, 1860.
How the horn eluded the station in the first place is unknown, however, Mr. Anderly confirms that his uncle George Stetnich, a second-hand and unique artifacts shop owner in the Bay Area, was the first in his family to acquire the historical horn.
ÒMy uncle and aunt Barbara had it for as long as I can remember,Ó Anderly, a retired state agent, said. ÒI remember being five or six and seeing it in the shop as a kid. Years later, after my uncle had passed away, my aunt passed it down to me, and it has been with the intention of returning this horn to the community of Mokelumne Hill on July 4th, 2010.Ó
Anderly has had the horn in his possession since around 1969. Being such a one-of-a-kind piece of history, the Anderly family has been looking forward to this particular day for a long time. Among the regular Fourth of July Parade marching through the town, Anderly will present the horn to the fire department in a historical ceremony celebrating the artifactÕs triumphant return to its original resting place.
Mokelumne Hill, nicknamed ÒMoke HillÓ by early settlers, began as a Gold Rush settlement, not unlike many of the towns in the Mother Lode. Between extensive gold panning and mining operations at Big Bar, Middle Bar and in town, Mokelumne Hill holds a rich piece of California history within its city limits.
With the horn being returned to its rightful place, Moke HillÕs history will be enriched, all thanks to the benevolence of an El Dorado County family by the name of Anderly.
ÒWeÕre just the family that happens to have this horn,Ó Ron Anderly said. ÒThis horn belongs to Mokelumne Hill, and it will be a great thing to help see it get there.Ó
ÒActually I think weÕll miss it a little bit,Ó said Anderly son Steven. ÒBut itÕs going to the right place, and thatÕs where itÕs supposed to be.Ó