Category: California Mining Towns

California is littered with Mining Towns. Below are some of the best towns to visit if you are interested in Gold Rush history.

Ted Nestor Cabin

  Nestled among four gold mines, the Talisman Placer Mine, the Mount Moriah Mine, the Pilgrim Mine and the Yellow Jacket Mine lies the Ted Nestor cabin. I don’t know the history or how it relates to the mines but it was…

Chinese Camp

We have driven by and through Chinese Camp several times over the years on our travels up and down Highway 49 but never stopped. But now with Lake Don Pedro so low and the Tarantula and Eagle-Shawmut Mines exposed we…

Murphys

Murphys was originally known as Murphys Camp, named after brothers John and Daniel who began placer mining in the area in 1848. Claims were limited to 8 sq/ft and miners still managed to get rich. The brothers gave up on…

Sierra City

A mining settlement established in 1850. In 1852 a snow avalanche destroyed the camp and it was not resettled for several years. Today a few period buildings remain on Main Street which is HWY 49. The towns once population of…

Nevada City

First settled in 1849 as “Nevada” but not incorporated until 1856 and the word “city” added in 1864. Today the town features many period buildings including hotels and a brewery. A popular destination when touring California’s Gold Country. Luzena Wilson…

Goldfield

Between Carson City and Las Vegas lies Goldfield, a boomtown that began in 1903 with the discovery of gold. Much of the town was destroyed by a fire in 1923 but many buildings survived and still exist today. In 1907…

Briggs Camp

Briggs Camp is a popular 4×4 destination with a well cared for cabin. The Cabin was built by Harry Briggs a miner and is now cared for by the Friends of Briggs Camp. The Honolulu Mine aka Thorndike Mine on…

Standard Hill

Want to buy a gold mine? There are plenty for sale near Standard Hill, W. W. Bowers first found gold here in March of 1894. There are dozens of mines and ruins to match in the area around Standard Hill…

La Grange

Founded in 1852 by French miners who struct gold in the nearby Tuolomne River La Grange was a mostly lawless town after mining all but ceased by 1880. Famous for the many dredges that operated in the are though the…

Hornitos

  We took off on a warm summer day to look for mines near highway 49 south of Lake McClure and made a pass through Hornitos. I call it “Horny Toes” for fun. There’s actually a lot of history with…

Chloride AZ

On a trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon we stumbled upon Chloride after a stop for gas from Uranus.  Gold and other minerals were first discovered in 1840, The town was formed in 1863. It grew to 5,000…

Chloride City

Chloride City is best known for the ruins of several “dug out” style dwellings (east of the pin) accessible by 4 wheel drive vehicles only. Also known for the lone grave of “James McKay” which no one knows anything about…

Rhyolite

So why on earth is there a Nevada ghost town on a California Gold Rush site? Because Rhyolite was the queen of Death Valley’s gold boom. The town was the gateway to many California gold mining operations like Chloride City,…

Stamp Mill – Downieville Memorial Park

Not much is know about this 5 stamp mill other than the men pictured above restored it in 2012 to be placed in the Downieville Memorial Park along side a boiler, steam engine and pelton wheel.

Coloma

The old town of Coloma has some residents but is generally considered a ghost town. The only residents are museum/park workers and a few miners. Several original buildings exist. Part of the Marshal Gold Discovery State Park. I believe a…

Old Sacramento

Old Sacramento features scores of original period buildings from the Gold Rush, almost all of which have been transformed into restaurants and tourist shops.Train rides, steam boats and more make for an authentic 1800’s feel. The city was built right…

Sutter’s Fort – State Historic Park

Sutter’s Fort is certainly no mining town but it holds a strong tie to the great California Gold Rush. The fort was built in 1839 as a trade colony in what was then Mexican territory. In 1847 the survivors of…

Columbia – State Historic Park

This small California mining town was occupied by thousands of miners only shortly after the discovery of gold in the area. Dozens of banks, saloons, stores and hotels sprang up to serve the miners. Only a few years later the…

Cerro Gordo Mines

Why another silver mine on this Gold site? Well, honestly I could not help myself. I stumbled upon Cerro Gordo on a California travel website that had mistakenly classified it as a Gold mine/town. But a quick hop to Wikipedia…

Alleghany

Established in 1859 the town was named after the Alleghany Tunnel mine which was named after the Alleghany River. The town was home to the miners of the famed 16 to 1 mine which has been operating since the original…

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