John A. “Snowshoe” Thompson
Born April 30, 1827 at Upper Tinns, Telemark District of Norway, John A. “Snowshoe” Thompson’s parents Tosten Olsen and Gro Johnsdotter baptized him as John Tostensen. At an early age he learned to “snow skate” (snow ski). In 1837 he moved to America and settled in Illinois with other Norwegian immigrants. He americanized his name to John A. Thompson and moved to California in 1851. In January 1856, due to severe Sierra winters, “Snowshoe” Thompson began carrying mail 90 miles on “Snow Skates” between Placerville, CA (Hangtown) and Genoa, NV. (Morman Station, Utah Territory). He bravely carried mail and equipment over the snowbound sierras until a couple years before his death, May 15, 1876, age 49 years.
“The Bravest are the Tenderest”
Dedicated in Genoa Nevada September 6 1986
“Snowshoe” Thompson Chapter No. 1827 E Clampus Vitus 5961-5991