In 1848, Henry Angel was looking for gold in this area. Henry was from Rhode Island and was not having much luck with his venture. He decided to open up a trading post. Nearby, gold was finally discovered by other fortune seekers and his town began to flourish. At one time, there were over 4,000 miners searching for gold around Henry’s new town. The town became known as Angels Camp and Henry began to rake in the profits.
According to legend, Mark Twain spent a few days here around 1865. During a drinking session, Ben Coon, the bartender, told Twain of a story about a jumping frog in Calaveras County. Mark Twain elaborated on the information and published another one of his famous books “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”. The town became famous from this Twain story. Twain tells of a gold rush town named Angels Camp with a frog jumping contest. Today, the community lives up to its name. Since 1928, the community hosts the Annual Frog Jumping Contest.