Information on a personality.

This image is not a likeness of Sarah -
however after three years miners invisioned what they missed most.

1851 May - First woman to locate in Columbia before the streets were laid out. Also known as the first "white" woman and the first "good" woman to arrive in the Hildreth Diggins. (E1:11:16) She was also the first woman to open a boarding house. (Barbara Eastman - 1971) It was a celebration of home and hearth to see a woman from home.

J.D. Peters told the sory of the first woman to "land in camp": "Everbody quit work; there was six or eight thousand of 'em. They built decorated arches over the street and marched four miles down the road with a band of music to meet her and escort her back to camp. By the time they got back the town was jammed full of miners that had come in from miles around to get a glimpse of the woman." - (A Golden Highway - 1941)

1851 October 25 - The first number of a weekly newspaper, entitled the Columbia Star, was issued from the press. It was published and edited by W. Gore, Esq., and, as before mentioned, was printed on the old Ramage press used by the Sonora Herald in its first few issues, and which was destroyed by a mob when the Star suspended publication after its fifth number had been printed. The first copy struck off was purchased by Mrs. De Noielle for an "ounce." The purchaser, by the way, was the first white woman who came to Columbia, and the second in the county. (from the A History of Tuolumne County - 1882)

1852 January 31 - She had the first child born in Columbia. (not sure if any Mexican children had been born first) (E1:11:16)

Her husband was Arnold William Copenhagen De Noille. Born c1820 in New York. (1866 census shows him at 47 years of age)

When the De Noille's arrived c1851, the buildings for business were:

Columbia at south Main Street - 1852.

James A. Jackson's Pioneer Store built September 1850 (Jackson and Stone build the first log cabin store on this site, advertise as Columbia's Pioneer Store )

Charles Bassett had purchased a tent and restaurant equipment north of Jackson's Store, December 1850.

Nicholas Brown built a second log store on northwest corner of Washington and Main nearly opposite Jackson's Store, October 1850.

Daniel G. Alexander built his Columbia House Fall 1850, north of Brown. (E1:11:16)

After arriving from Stockton, Arnold and Sarah set up the first boarding house in Columbia in the latter part of 1851. It was built near the Jackson & Stone Pioneer Store below Washington Street on the east side of Main Street. They also built a store on their south lot. (E1:11:2 & 6) One of four permanent locations before September 1851 on the east side of Main nearly opposite end of Washimgton Street. (E1:11:2)

1852 September 30 - On De Noille's Store on south lot. Sold to Isaac Shotwell. Rented to Col. Thomas A. Falconer early in October 1852 for his first Columbia Gazette Office. (E1:11:6)

1853 May - Sold this property on east side of Main and moved to west side of Main between two lots owned by Edward Raspal. (E1:15:1)

1853 August 12 - The Boarding House was bought by Isaac Shotwell and sold to Joseph Hey and Manly Dyer in May 1854. (E1:11:7)

1854 July 22 - Sold this lot to Madame Josephine Simondi who opened an Italian Saloon in the house. (E1:15:11)

From 1854 to June 1858 they owned a lot on the Southeast corner of Columbia & Pacific Streets. This became their wood framed residence. (E1:Map of Block 7:1) Where Aunt Sally's House stands today.

1856 Arnold William Copenhagen De Noille is listed as a stone cutter from New York. (Miners & Business Men's Directory)

1861 One of the boarders, a Southern sympathizer, was staying at the Boarding House and owed back rent. Mr. DeNoille sued him for his obligation due and he took his anger out on Mrs. DeNoille (Sarah). When he attacked the lady he got the worse of it due to the quick response of nearby citizens. "Everybody in the county knows Mrs. DeNoille, a very worthy and respectable lady, who was the first female that ever lived in Columboa...The boys at the flat have raised a sum of money to buy her a pistol, to protect herself from such assaults in the future." (San Francisco Daily Alta)

Sources include:
original newspapers
Miners & Business Men's Directory - 1856
Eastman map - 1858.
Index cards at the Museum - Eastman research.
A History of Tuolumne County - 1882
Barbara Eastman's "A New Look at Early Columbia" Chispa July-Sept., 1971

This page is created for the benefit of the public by

Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.

Email contact:
fdpoyde3 (at) Yahoo (dot) com
created for the visitors to the Columbia State Historic park.
© Columbia State Historic Park & Floyd D. P. Øydegaard.