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 Placer County California

Placer County. Organized in 1851. Bounded north by Nevada, east by the State of Nevada, south and southeast by El Dorado and Sacramento, west and northwest by Sutter, Yuba and Nevada, having great length and an irregular contour. Area, 1,386 square miles. Assessed valuation of property for 1874, $6,781,966.

County seat, Auburn. Principal towns, Bath, Damascus, Cisco, Colfax, Dutch Flat, Forest Hill, Gold Run, Iowa Hill, Lincoln, Michigan Bluff, Newcastle, Rocklin, and Todd's Valley.

For many years gold mining constituted the principal resource, but now agriculture, horticulture and grazing contend for the precedence. This, like the neighboring counties of the western slope of the Sierra, had its most prosperous times in the flush days of placer mining, but as the shallow diggings were washed away, the population became reduced. The wealth of the soil has been proven, and now, fields, orchards and vineyards occupy the abandoned ground to the permanent advantage of the country.

Mines of great value are still worked, and new developments are constantly being made, showing a geological and mineralogical formation not heretofore understood, and the importance of which is scarcely appreciated. Dutch Flat and Gold Run are the centers of deep and extensive hydraulic mining, and being near the Central Pacific Railroad, are much visited by people interested and curious to inspect the remarkable geological formation, and the novel manner of tearing away a mountain of gravel and extracting the gold from the mass. Todd's Valley, Bath, Iowa Hill and Michigan Bluff, are similar localities on the divide between the south and north Forks of the American River. In the vicinity of Auburn and Newcastle are numerous quartz veins that are mined with success, and in the same region, along the line of the railroad, are extensive quarries of granite. The features of the county are narrow and precipitous ridges and deep canons in the upper portion, coming to a level in the Sacramento Valley.

The Middle Fork of the American River forms the southern boundary, receiving the North Fork and other branches, and Bear River separates it from Nevada County. Lake Bigler occupies the southeastern corner, and the Truckee River runs for some distance in the county, turning eastward into the State of Nevada. The Central Pacific Railroad runs for ninety miles in Placer, ascending the mountain slope to an altitude of 7,000 feet in that distance, the route being on the north of the American River. The California and Oregon Railroad has thirty-eight miles of track in the county, running across the valley portion. Thus it will be seen that it is well favored with railroads, giving a fair opportunity for the development of the resources, which, when fully understood, will attract hither a large population.

Officers: J. Ives Fitch, County Judge; B. F. Burt, Clerk; John M. Fulweiler, District Attorney; James McCormick, Sheriff; C. C. Crosby, Recorder and Auditor; B. D. Dunnam, Treasurer: J. A. Benson, Surveyor; M. Sweet, Coroner and Public Administrator; J. T. Kinkade, Superintendent Public Schools.

California Gazetteer | AHGP California

Source: Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875

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