Ft. Jones plaque. Photograph courtesy E Clampus Vitus.
For Fort Jones’ 2010 September sesquicentennial celebration, E Clampus Vitus Humbug Chapter along with Scott Valley Bank commemorated Fort Jones and the bank with a granite plaque. James “Dirt” Ordway, Chapter President, was responsible for leading the charge to get this historical marker completed. James, along with Clampers Dan Weimers from Montague, Glenn Hearrell from Grants Pass, and Lisa Wright representing the bank, researched and prepared the plaque wording.
A brochure advertising Fort Jones sesquicentennial anniversary gave James the idea to do this particular plaque subject matter. Seeking council from Ex Noble Grand Humbug Jim McConnell, and help from Lisa to make sure the plaque was factual, James and Lisa insured the project came to fruition. Dan worked with Eric Brophy from Oregon Granite to do the engraving and master craftsman Hearrell secured and mortared the plaque into the south side of the bank building next to the ATM (automated teller machine).
Saturday sesquicentennial celebrations began with a hearty September 4th — 7 a.m. pancake breakfast provided by the Fort Jones Fire Department. E Clampus Vitus sold hamburgers for the Saturday parade festivities providing a noon time repast. The Chapter also participated in the parade; Dan Weimers drove his blue 1933 Chevy pickup truck with Glenn Hearrell and Leo “Brut” Champagne in the back holding up the ECV banner. (See Photo below.)
Dan Weimers drove his blue 1933 Chevy pickup truck with Glenn Hearrell and Leo “Brut” Champagne in the back holding up the ECV banner. Photograph courtesy E Clampus Vitus.
After the parade the plaque was dedicated with speechifying by James, Dan and bank representatives. The plaque is easy to locate and view in Fort Jones on the side wall of the Scott Valley bank next to the ATM right there on Main Street.
Known for its founder, Adam Baker Carlock, the bank has been an area institution for 105 years. Carlock was born in Dark County, Ohio in 1833. In 1852, gold fever found him seeking his fortune in Weaverville. Like many entrepreneurs such as Sam Brannan, Carlock discovered mining was less profitable than supplying miners with tools of the trade.
About 160 years ago on the rough and tumble frontier of California’s northern diggin’s, Scott Valley Bank, California’s oldest independent bank, began in its earliest form. In 1856, Carlock made his way to Deadwood in Scott Valley where he opened a general merchandise store. By 1858, he began holding gold in trust for miners and merchants.
When Fort Jones became a town and overland Stage Stop in 1860, Carlock moved from Deadwood. He quickly became an important civic figure serving the community as merchant, banker, insurance agent, postmaster (appointed by Abe Lincoln), investor and state senator.
In 1870, Carlock formed A.B. Carlock Banking Company. He reincorporated as Carlock Banking Co. in 1902. In 1910 he retired and sold his banking and insurance interests to George W. Smith who also owned the bank of A.H. Denny. Later that year Smith merged both interests renaming the new company Scott Valley Bank.