Forest City California now called “Forest, CA” is a real lost gem.

Settled in 1850 and named Brownsville in 1852 and by 1854 once again renamed to forest City. By then the town had 11 stores, 2 stables and 5 hotels and a population of 1400. By 1865 the placer claims were worked out and the town went bust.

In 1870 Forest saw a second boom when an ancient riverbed was found nearby at the Bald Mountain Mine. 30 miles of “drift” tunnels were dug using the first underground steam engine and employing 250 men. The Bald Mountain Mine was California largest drift mine for 10 years producing 150,000 ounces of gold by 1887.

Today only a few authentic buildings remain such as a school, and a dance hall built in 1883.

Next to the dance hall is a 2 stamp mill with steam engine and boiler that has been lovingly restored by Clampers. The mill was originally purchased by Forest resident E.L. Crafts in 1901, hauled by mule from San Francisco for use at the nearby Del Norte mine.

In the winter of 2016 the top portion of the dance hall collapsed.

  • DANIEL BIERWIRTH

    Reply
    Rating: 4 / 5

    I drove through Forest 3/28/2016, What an amazing place. I have lived in the area for almost 35 years. It wasn’t an easy place to live, back in its Hayday. It sits in what we call a pneumonia hole. Most of town doesn’t even see any direct sunshine during the winter and what does, only gets direct light for a few hours out of the day.
    There is a lot of gold left in those hills. But be careful, most of that territory is claimed already.

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