Auburn History

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the gallows



The Washoe and Maidu Indians lived peacefully in the area before gold was discovered 100 years ago in November,1849 on the North Fork Yuba River.

It was a direct result of the discovery and continuous search for gold in California, that the development of Sierra County began. As the roads improved, people began to travel to the more primitive environment to enjoy the beauty and wildlife. In the 1800's a surge of interest arose from the city people for recreation and relaxation as a temporary relief from the frantic pace of urban life. Sierra County was founded in 1852. By 1926 many popular resorts had been constructed for the purpose of fishing, swimming, boating and lodging. Bassett's Station was built over 125 years ago at the intersection of Hwy. 49 and Gold Lake Road to provide a rest stop and supply point for travelers.

plaque 2Downieville was named for Major Wm. Downie, leader of the first gold discovery party in Sierra County. Founded in 1849 as a gold mining town, and now the County seat of Sierra County. By May 1850 Downeiville had 15 hotels and gambling houses, 4 bakeries and 4 butcher shops. By the mid 1850's Downieville was California's 5th largest town.

Sierra City was established as a mining town in 1850. By 1852 Sierra City had 2 large buildings, a bakery shop and several gambling houses and saloons. Miners were busy retrieving gold from several tunnels in the nearby Sierra Buttes. In the winter of 1853 many buildings were crushed by an avalanche of snow, forcing the inhabitants to rebuild at the present lower elevation.

The Sierra Valley ranches, settled in the 1850's consist of the communities of Sattley, Sierraville, Calpine and Loyalton. They provided dairy products, hay and cattle for the Western Sierra County mines and the Comstock Mines in the 1860's. One of the finest agricultural regions in California in the 1880's.firetruck

Originally known as Smith's Neck the name was changed to Loyalton because of the sentiment of loyalty to the Union cause during the Civil War in 1863. In 1901 Loyalton was incorporated as a dry town, the size was set at 50.6 square miles. It was the second largest city in California.




First Protestant Church

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