Mammoth Lakes, California: Temple of Folly Monument

A plaque bolted to a big rock pays tribute to the Temple of Folly, a famous saloon in the early mining days of Mammoth Lakes.

Address:
5489 Sherwin Creek Rd, Mammoth Lakes, CA
Directions:
The monument can be found as you approach the Hayden Cabin historical site. From Hwy 203/Main St. turn south onto Old Mammoth Rd. Drive about a mile. urn left onto Sherwin Creek Rd, then immediately left at the sign for the Hayden Cabin. You'll see the monument in th parking area nearest the cabin.
Admission:
Free
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Monument with ECV imprint.

Temple of Folly Monument

All sides of this monument has oddments stuck in it. It's not actually the only monument. Within a few yards are a couple more with various crap stuck in them that was laying around when they mixed up the cement. It's more a monument to what drunk people do when they get together and encourage each other to do funny things.

Don't miss the Hayden Cabin just down the gentle hill.

[Sue B, 06/16/2022]

The telltale handiwork of a contingent from E Clampus Vitus.

Temple of Folly marker.

Temple of Folly Monument

This monument is in the town of Mammoth Lakes, near the Hayden Cabin (a museum of the history of the town). It has the following inscription:

"During the heyday of Lake Mining District (1877-1881) there emerged one premiere drinking establishment: The Temple of Folly. It was the brainchild of Andrew J Murphy, who in October 1879 purchased the clothing store of Reinstien and Wolf, located on Main Street in the center of Mammoth City, transforming it into a first class saloon and resort. 'Rock and rye' was its specialty drink, quoted to be a guaranteed remedy for all coughs and colds. Other noted amenities include a reading room and circulating library (stocked with books from Murphy's private collection). Unfortunately, within a few months, the local mines faltered and on November 14, 1880, a devastating fire destroyed half the town forcing Murphy to relocate to Bishop, where he opened a new Temple of Folly. Although its existence was brief, Mammoth's Temple of Folly typified the pioneer spirit of those first residents on the eastern Sierras and will forever be associated with the first days of Mammoth Lakes."

The marker was erected 2008 by E Clampus Vitus, Bodie Chapter No. 64. When you visit, note the objects embedded in the monument. On one side you will see the initials "ECV," as well as a skull (not real), and what looks like a pan used for panning for gold. The organization of E Clampus Vitus is supposed to be dedicated to preserving historical sites of the old West.

[Julie Mangin, 08/01/2014]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Legendary Slot Machines In June LakeLegendary Slot Machines In June Lake, June Lake, CA - 13 mi.
Roller Coaster RoadRoller Coaster Road, Mono Mills, CA - 19 mi.
Upside Down HouseUpside Down House, Lee Vining, CA - 24 mi.
In the region:
Ordnance Sculpture - Bomb Whirligigs, Hawthorne, NV - 65 mi.

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