Mark Twain statue.

Mark Twain, No Frogs

Field review by the editors.

Angels Camp, California

Mark Twain's first successful short story was published in 1865, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," set in the town of Angels Camp. Capitalizing on its unexpected fame, the town began holding a Jumping Frog Jubilee every May. It became so well-known that on May 21, 1944, Warner Bros. premiered its biopic, "The Adventures of Mark Twain," at the Jubilee -- and gave Angels Camp a life-size statue of Mark Twain, with three frogs jumping out of bulrushes at his feet. The statue looked like marble, but it was actually aluminum painted white.

Mark Twain still stands in Angels Camp, but not the frogs. In 1957 a gang of Hells Angels showed up at the Jubilee, terrorized the town, and hacksawed off the frogs. Fifty years later one frog was finally recovered, and is now displayed at the Angels Camp Museum. You can still see the bright aluminum where it was sawed off.

Mark Twain, No Frogs

Utica Park

Sam's Way, Angels Camp, CA
North of downtown. The white statue stands in the southeast corner of Uitica Park, at the intersection of Sam's Way and CA-49/S. Main St.
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