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Placerville and Its History (Old Hangtown, Dry Diggins)
The history of Placerville began with the “rush for gold” to California in the 1840’s. The highly publicized discovery of gold in the tailrace section at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma (only 10 miles from Placerville) in 1848 resulted in the migration of thousands of fortune-seekers to Northern California in the mid 1800’s. The town of Placerville was named after the placer deposits found in the river bed between Spanish Ravine and the town plaza. First called Dry Diggins, then Old Hangtown, then Placerville. During the gold rush, Placerville became an important supply center for the surrounding mining camps.
Coloma / Lotus and Its History (Marshall, Uniontown)
Coloma grew around Sutter’s Mill following the finding of gold on January 24, 1848. A post office was established in 1849 under the name Culloma, changing to Coloma in 1851.
Lotus (formerly, Marshall and Uniontown) is located 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Coloma. The settlement was established in 1849 and named for James W. Marshall, discoverer of gold. In 1850, the name was changed to Uniontown to commemorate California’s admission to the Union. The name was changed to Lotus with the arrival of the post office in 1881.
Divide and Its History (i.e. Georgetown (Growlersburg), Garden Valley, Cool, etc.)
The area around Georgetown, called “The Divide”, is a piece of land on which it is located the South, North, and Middle Forks of the American River, providing space for Georgetown and other Divide communities. The Divide was explored by trappers in the early 1800’s and had been inhabited by the Indigenous Peoples for thousands of years. However, it took the discovery of gold in nearby Coloma to bring the gold hungry hoards to the area in search of the yellow metal.
Located in a heavily timbered mountain region of the Sierras, along the south side of the American River, the area today known as Pollock Pines is at an elevation of approximately 4000’ and is half way between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe. It is lush, filled with multitudes of flora and fauna, has 4 distinct seasons, and is known as Nature’s Wonderland.