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@ 2011-11-13 09:57:54

Snowshoe Thompson (April 30, 1827 – May 15, 1876) was a nickname for the Norwegian-American John Albert Thompson, an early resident of the Sierra Nevada of Nevada and California. He is considered the father of California skiing.

Jon Torsteinson-Rue was born on the Rue farm in Tinn, Telemark county, Norway. He was the son of Torsten Olssen Rue and Gro Johnsdatter Hakaland. His father died when Thompson was 2 years old. At the age of 10, Thompson came to America with his family, settling on a farm in Illinois. The family moved on to Missouri, then Iowa, and eventually Thompson went to stay with his brother in Wisconsin. In 1851, Thompson drove a herd of milk cows to California and settled in Placerville. For a short while he mined in Kelsey Diggins, Coon Hollow and Georgetown. With the small amount he saved, he bought a small ranch at Putah Creek, in the Sacramento Valley. Later, he purchased a ranch in Diamond Valley.