Coloma

January 24, 1848 James Marshall discovered gold here along the banks of the South Fork of the American River. The discovery set off the biggest voluntary mass migration of people that we now know as the California Gold Rush. This became a bustling area until other towns started to spring up and Coloma settled into a quiet farming area.
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Cool

Penobscot Public House was established in 1850 as a way station and a stage coach stop. There is debate over where the name originated but many people believe it was named after Reverend Cool who traveled through this area. This was a mining camp of 1850. Mining was carried on here through the end of the 19th century..
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Garden Valley

This town received its name because people realized it was more profitable to raise garden then to mine for gold. Garden Valley did start however as a rich gold mine. George and Stephen Pierce owned some land and planted gardens and sold the vegetables to the neighboring mining camps. Sadly Garden Valley was also a victim of fire like many of the towns in this area and most of it was destroyed in 1857.
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Georgetown

This town was named for a man named George Phipps and was one of the most important mining towns of the 1850's. One of its original nicknames was Growlersburg because of the heavy gold nuggets that "growled" as the miners panned. Roads and stage lines thru Georgetown brought a lot of business. In 1852 a fire burned most of the business part of town. The residents assembled and rebuilt the town in its now current location.
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Greenwood

John Greenwood was a trapper and guide and established a trading post here in 1849. Originally this was called Long Valley. During the gold rush a nice town built up that boasted a theater that was enjoyed by the surrounding mining camps. Originally gold mining and haymaking were the way to make money. When there was a fight for the county seat of El Dorado to be moved, Greenwood was a front winner because of the nice town that had been built up there. Eventually Placerville was decided upon for the county seat.
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Gerle Creek

This creek was named after a Swedish emigrant named Christopher Gerle. The family ran this area as a ranch until the 20th century. In 1962 the Gerle Creek Reservoir Dam was built. In 1931 there was a rest camp that was built by the U.S. Army Air Corp. Currently it is run by the Forest Service for camping, fishing, and picnicking.
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Hellhole

This reservoir was created in 1966 with the completion of the dam across the Rubicon River. It is named for the deep canyon that is now under water. This area is now a beautiful place to go camping. This area was not used to look for gold during the gold rush but more so for water and timber.
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Kelsey

This town was named for Benjamin and Samuel Kelsey who started the diggings in this area in 1848. During the height of placer mining this was the business center and a rich mining center. Kelsey also had a large fire in the year of 1853 that destroyed most of the town. This was where James Marshall lived and owned a blacksmith shop at the end of his life.

Lotus

The name of this community was changed several times. It was first named Marshall for the discoverer of gold and was later named Uniontown. This became confusing with other similar named areas so they finally settled on the name Lotus suggested by the postmaster George Gallaner because the people were as easy going as the lotus eaters in the odyssey.

Loon Lake

Probably was given the name because the aquatic bird, the Loon, was found living here. Loon Lake was created because of the Loon Lake Dam that was built in 1963. The idea was to use the snow melt run off for hydroelectric power. It has now become a popular place for fishing.

Mosquito

Many places were named after this little insect during the gold rush days. Placer mining happened here in 1849 and when the gold played out the mining ditches were then used for irrigation for the orchards and gardens. It had the reputation for being a quiet and peaceful place and not many crimes.

Quintette

Quintette is an unincorporated community in El Dorado County. A post office operated in Quintette from 1903 to 1912. It is located north-northeast of Pollock Pines at an elevation of 4049 feet.

Uncle Tom's Cabin

It is believed that the founder was an African-American trapper. He was friendly towards travelers and this became a gathering place. It has continued in this vein with all the new owners since then. It is located on the Rubicon Trail so a lot of off road vehicles come through this area.

Volcanoville

This town was founded as a small trading post in 1851 but became a larger gold mining camp in 1855. It was named by the miners because a nearby mountain looked like an extinct volcano. The miners had to work through what they thought was hard lava. This was also a very important gold mining town. Again like many other towns in this area fires came through and burned the town to the ground. Sadly it never grew back to what it once was.

Pilot Hill

As early as 1849 this was a center of a rich placer mining area. It was named because the overland migrants would use this landmark to "pilot" them in the right direction. It was originally named Centerville. Robert Draper was the mail carrier and he could walk to Sacramento in the morning and come back by that same night. The first Grange Lodge of the West Coast was organized here in 1810.

French Meadows

The reservoir here was built in 1964 because of the construction of the L.L. Anderson Dam. Lots of places that were named during the gold rush have the name "French" in the title because that would be where a lot of French people would gather or settle. This is true for many different ethnicities that would tend to stay together and name the area after where they had originated.