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Jackson Rancheria is the landbase for the Jackson Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California, a federally recognized tribe of Miwok people, located near Jackson, California. It is located in Amador County, about midway between Jackson and Pine Grove. The reservation operates the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, located on its territory.
Margaret L. (Hughes) Dalton was born in Tuolumne, California to her Native American mother, Tessie Jeff, and her non-Indian Father, Clyde Hughes. She left Calaveras High School and married Earl Dalton, Sr. in 1956, when she was 16 years old. Margaret and Earl moved to Jackson Rancheria where they raised four sons, Earl Jr., Dennis, Robert, and Adam, as well as Margaret’s brothers and sister, Irvin “Bo,” Clarence, Gary, and Donna. The Tribe held a meeting in 1979 and established a formal government. Margaret was elected Tribal Chairperson, a position she held uncontested for 30 years.
Earl Sr., Margaret's husband, died in 1980 and left Margaret to pursue their dream on her own. Four years later she began searching for private investors to help her Tribe open a Bingo Hall. The Tribe opened their first Bingo Hall in 1985, but it opened and closed three times. The Tribal Government allowed her one more chance at success with the Bingo hall and, in 1991, with Jackson Indian Bingo opened its doors again.
Jackson Rancheria has grown into a casino complex that includes multiple restaurants, a Hotel, RV Park, General Store and Gas Station, and the first LEED certified building in the county. The Tribe has also built new homes for its residents, a medical and dental clinic, water and sewage treatment plants, an auto mechanic shop, child care center for employees’ children, and an off-reservation apartment complex.
The tribe is now led by her son Adam Dalton, who was elected Tribal Chairperson in January 2013, and her grandson Vice Chairperson Earl Dalton. The Tribal Council also includes Secretary/Treasurer Derik Dalton and General Council Representatives Robert Dalton Sr. and Dennis Dalton.