Publications and Photos are Available Through the

Historical Society and the Museum


The Tuolumne County Historical Society maintains an active book publishing program, primarily selected reprints of local historical volumes. In addition, the organization publishes the CHISPA, the Quarterly of the Tuolumne County Historical Society solely for accounts of local history and makes available other publications about Tuolumne County history.


Publications may be purchased via our website through the online store.  A form may be downloaded also if order by mail is preferred.  Publications may also be purchased at the museum at 158 Bradford St. in Sonora.  Map to Museum

Publications Prices Reduced.  Great deals for the holidays and just everyday.  Go to our Online Store to purchase using a credit card or download our order form and send in to order.  View our Christmas Specials List.


Originally, the publication was called “THE QUARTERLY”. The first quarterly publication was produced in September 1961. The name was changed to “CHISPA” in June 1969. CHISPAs may be purchased for $3.00 Online or at the Tuolumne County Museum.


CHISPA” is a word of Spanish origin which enjoys a special association with the history of the area. It has a variety of meanings ranging from “sparks” or “embers” to “cleverness” or “wit”. Locally it acquired an additional colloquial meaning as it was also used to describe any nugget or specimen of gold, particularly one of great beauty or high radiance. The term was introduced to the diggings of Tuolumne County by pioneer miners from the state of Sonora, Mexico and was quickly adopted into the vocabulary of the many nationalities who mined here.


The CHISPA index of the articles produced can be printed out for your personal use. Note, some articles are continued in other issues. Click on "CHISPA Articles" on the menu above to view the list and search for articles.  If you want some help doing a search on the articles list go to this link.

Tourism Guides

Also, available for purchase at the Tuolumne County Museum are three heritage tourism guides with maps.  Two are walking tours – Sonora…A Guide to Yesterday and Jamestown, A Guide to the Past; the guide, Our History and Our Heritage, includes historic areas throughout the county.

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