Agua Fria

Town History - Gold Discovery, Early Citizenry, Legends

Historic Sites - Local Ruins, Relics, Buildings & Scenery
      • Ghost Site

Travelers' Tips - Directions, Museums, Lodging, &c

Town History

      It’s difficult to imagine what Agua Fria must have looked like during its peak, when a dozen stores, numerous monte and faro banks, a billiard room, bowling alley, and hotel provided for the needs of the hundreds of miners who once swarmed over the land in their search for gold. According to an eyewitness, miners were “camped in every direction for five miles from the common tents and huts of every description.” It’s difficult to imagine because nothing remains from those days, even though the camp served as the first county seat of Mariposa County from February 18 of 1850, to November 10 of 1851, a sign of its early importance.
      Discovered by Sonoran miners in the early summer of 1849, Agua Fria was one of the earliest settlements on Frémont’s Las Mariposas grant. Named for two springs of cold water located at a bend of the creek, the placer deposits of the area were rich, but like most of the placer camps in the region were soon worked out. As the miners drifted off to other camps, Agua Fria’s importance dwindled, and in 1852 the county seat was moved to Mariposa as the result of a county-wide vote, after a mandate by the State Legislature required all county seats to be determined by the registered voters of that county. Thereafter, the town vanished as rapidly as it had appeared, eventually leaving no trace of its existence.

Travelers' Tips
      • Town Map

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