The first miners on the scene here in early 1849 decided to honor the man whose discovery had
brought them all to California. They named their camp Marshall; after all, it was located just a
mile and a half downstream from where he made his fateful discovery. The name only lasted about a
year; however, as it was changed to Uniontown in 1850 to honor California’s admission to the
During the early 1850’s, an estimated two thousand miners were engaged in working this
portion of the South Fork of the American River, and nearby Granite and Shingle creeks. The town
which grew up to support the population included ten or twelve boarding houses, a number of
assorted stores, a drug store, bakery, blacksmith, restaurant, and of course, several saloons and
The camp’s name was changed for a third time on January 6 of 1881, when the post office was
established. Adam Lohry suggested the name of “Lotus,” and so it was called and remains today.
The gold didn’t last, we know it never does, and the town shifted from a busy, prosperous
mining camp to a rather quiet, pastoral community as the miners and merchants followed the call
of gold. Today only a few buildings and an old cemetery are left to remind visitors of the mining
days of Marshall/Uniontown/Lotus.
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