|The book that started it all|
"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" is an 1865 short story by Mark Twain, his first great success as a writer, bringing him national attention. The story has also been published as "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog" (its original title) and "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". In it, the narrator retells a story he heard from a bartender, Simon Wheeler, at the Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, about the gambler Jim Smiley. Twain describes him: "If he even seen a straddle bug start to go anywheres, he would bet you how long it would take him to get to—to wherever he going to, and if you took him up, he would foller that straddle bug to Mexico but what he would find out where he was bound for and how long he was on the road."
|Samuel Clemons aka "Mark Twain"|
"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" is also the title story of an 1867 collection of short stories by Mark Twain. Twain's first book, it collected 27 stories that were previously published in magazines and newspapers.
Twain first wrote the title short story at the request of his friend Artemus Ward, for inclusion in an upcoming book. Twain worked on two versions but neither was satisfactory to him—neither got around to describing the jumping frog contest. Ward pressed him again, but by the time Twain devised a version he was willing to submit, that book was already nearing publication, so Ward sent it instead to The Saturday Press, where it appeared in the November 18, 1865 edition as "Jim Smiley and His
Jumping Frog". Twain's colorful story was immensely popular, and was soon printed in many different magazines and newspapers. Twain developed the idea further, and Bret Harte published this version in The Californian on December 16; this time entitled "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", and the man named Smiley was changed to Greeley.
About the Frog Jump and Its History
In 1928, the Angels Camp Boosters Club (which is still very active in promoting fun events in Calaveras County) organized a celebration in honor of the first paving of Main Street in Angels Camp and chose to use Mark Twain’s famous story as the focus for their event. The first Calaveras Jumping Frog Jubilee drew over 15,000 people to Angels Camp. Visitors came from all over the countryside on foot, in wagons, and on horseback.Today, thousands of frog jump contestants from all over the world give the Celebrated Calaveras Frog Jump unique international acclaim. Plan to attend the
Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee is held annually, the third week in May at “Frogtown”. Breathtaking rodeos, live concerts, exhilarating midway rides, country crafts, professional and amateur art and exhibits, lots of food, a beautiful setting, and much more make this a fun weekend for the entire family. For more information, take a look at the official frog jump site at www.frogtown.org