Town History - Gold Discovery, Early Citizenry, Legends

Historic Sites - Local Ruins, Relics, Buildings & Scenery
      • The Large Brick Building
      • The Cemeteries

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

Town History

      The diggings here were discovered prior to 1850, but the rush to the area began in the spring of that year. Lured by the news of rich diggings, the miners poured into the area from all directions, eager to make their strike. Many would see their wish come true, as the diggings were located on the Blue Lead gravels of the Tertiary Yuba River, one of the most productive placers of the gold region. Early claims were limited to fifty feet, and it was only a matter of time before extensive tunnels penetrated the mountain, ranging from two hundred to five thousand feet deep.
      The location of the town couldn’t be prettier. Located on the summit of the Forest Hill Divide between the Middle Fork of the American River and Shirt-tail Canyon, the town is at an elevation of 3,400 feet and surrounded by thousands of acres of tall pines. The camp was originally located a short distance downslope from its present site, but when the fire of 1852 destroyed most of the town, it was rebuilt higher on the hill and with more substantial materials.
      The big boom came in 1853, after the winter storms broke loose a large mass of gravel at the head of Jenny Lind Canyon. The exposed ground fairly glittered with chunks of gold. The mines in the region included the Jenny Lind, the New Jersey, the Gore, the Independence, the Deidesheimer, the Dardanelles, the Rough and Ready, and many other smaller operations. The total combined production of these mines reached well over $10 million in gold.
      By the late 1850’s, Foresthill (also spelled as Forest Hill in some accounts) was an important town in the mountains, claiming its own newspaper, several fire-proof hotels, stores, banks, elegant saloons, and numerous neat homes with gardens and orchards. The post office was established on June 27 of 1859; unfortunately, the gold began to play out shortly thereafter and the town’s decline began as people moved off to better diggings or other opportunities.
      Foresthill is located seventeen miles northeast of Auburn via Foresthill Road.

Travelers' Tips
      • Lodging
      • Town Map
      • Current Weather
      • The Foresthill Divide Museum

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