Dorsey —The Mail Carrying Dog

Dorsey —The Mail Carrying Dog

Silver has many makes use of — from cash and jewellery to tableware and tea units. It’s additionally what made Calico, California, well-known. The city is now formally a San Bernardino County Regional Park, however in its heyday, it had over 3,500 residents, miles of mines and a thriving industrial district. Today, it’s referred to as a ghost city, however it’s removed from inactive and is simply 10 (paved!) miles east of Barstow.

In 1881, three prospectors — Charlie Meacham, Johnny McBride and Larry Silvia — heard there is likely to be silver within the hills east of Barstow. They outfitted themselves with all of the requirements prospectors would want for a protracted exploration of the hills, however it took solely 4 days to discover a wealthy deposit of silver. They staked their claims and celebrated, telling others of their success.

As extra miners staked new claims within the hills, a city sprung up, and the identify Calico was advised by one other miner as a result of the colourful hills of the area reminded him of a girl’s calico skirt. Another miner, J.A. Delameter, petitioned for a publish workplace the very subsequent day, and the identify Calico got here into being. The city grew extra shops, livery stables, physicians’ workplaces, regulation workplaces, assayers, map makers and, after all, extra saloons and playing halls.

Calico’s silver increase yielded $86 million in these days’ cash — about $260 million right this moment. The story of the miners, retailers and businesspeople of Calico is preserved now, however there’s one other nice Calico story a couple of canine.

The two Stacy brothers took Dorsey the canine in throughout a storm in 1883. The canine loved visiting one brother who was Calico’s postmaster and the opposite brother who had a retailer in East Calico, the place a lot of the household properties had been positioned. It was a hike to get from East Calico again to Calico to choose up or ship mail. Postmaster Stacy tied a be aware to Dorsey’s collar at some point, and Dorsey safely delivered it to the brother. That gave Postmaster Stacy the concept to rig up some mail sacks for Dorsey to hold.

Dorsey. Courtesy Dr. Stephanie Slahor

At first, solely newspapers had been delivered till Dorsey could possibly be counted on to make the deliveries. Dorsey was true to his work and was quickly delivering mail to East Calico and bringing again the outgoing mail. Dorsey grew to become an official U.S. Post Office mail-carrying canine, considered one of solely a only a few in American historical past.

Dorsey stored up his work for a 12 months, till the value of silver dropped within the late Eighties and the mines of East Calico closed. Mail service was pointless.

Dorsey’s picture is now displayed within the Calico Hall of Fame — a constructing with images and illustrations of lots of the former and more moderen “characters” which have graced Calico.

Lucy Lane (1874-1967) was considered one of Calico’s most well-known residents, having lived there for 67 years. She famous in her memoirs that, in her girlhood when she was a scholar at Calico’s schoolhouse, Dorsey would typically journey with the kids going to or from college alongside the mile-and-a-half route from East Calico to the varsity.

Dorsey is remembered right this moment at a retailer in Calico aptly named Dorsey’s Dog House. It options all the things from collars to treats and is a well-liked website for these visiting Calico with their pooches!

Dorsey’s Dog House. Courtesy Dr. Stephanie Slahor

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