“The fire commenced in the Magnolia Saloon, situated near the west end of town, and surrounded by wooden buildings that would ignite and burn as readily as so many hay stacks. The Magnolia was used as a fandango House and was tenanted by some disreputable Mexican women at the time, one of whom is suspected, acted the incendiary, in revenge for some harsh treatment she had received.The miners weren’t going anywhere as long as the placers were still producing, and if the miners were staying, so were the businessmen. The town was rebuilt as quickly as possible, and many took a lesson from the fire and rebuilt with brick or stone. It proved to be well they did, as another two serious fires would hit the town before the turn of the century. In June of 1874, practically all of the business section of town was once again burned to the ground, the only buildings surviving being those of fire-proof construction. This fire originated in Doyle’s fruit store, and when it was finally contained the flames had destroyed about thirty buildings. By this time the placer mines were long since exhausted and as there was little interest in rebuilding what had been lost, the camp never regained its boomtown appearance. The last great fire began on a hot afternoon in July of 1893, when smoke was discovered coming from a warehouse located behind the Manuel-Garland store. Moments later, five-gallon cans of kerosene stored inside began to explode and people rushed to try and put out the fire, until a cry went out that black powder was also in the building. Citizens scattered as the powder exploded, sending burning shingles high into the air, which then set fire to the surrounding buildings. The block to the east was totally destroyed, except for the stone Wells Fargo office. Luckily, no one was injured by the explosion or fire.
The entire business part of town with the exception of Traver’s store, Renaud & Met’s bakery and a building opposite the latter, occupied as a retail liquor establishment, was swept away in less than forty minutes. In fifteen minutes from the discovery of the fire, over thirty houses were in flames. So rapid was the communication that no time was allowed to save personable movables. The total loss foots up about $100,000.”