The California 49ers of 1849 had one thing on their mind; find gold and get rich! The land from the southern Sierra to the northern Sierra was picked over and well searched for that precious golden metal.
Today, there is still gold in the hills but there is also much more. A number of the old mining towns have seen an increase in prosperity because of the increase in tourism. The mines have long since been shut down and now quaint and boutique shops, art galleries, restaurants, wine tasting and historic hotels have opened in their place.
This article focuses primarily on the southern central mining towns from Mariposa in the south to Murphys in the north connected by the appropriately named Highway 49. This region is generally in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains – usually between an elevation of 2,000 to 4,000 feet.
Parts of Tuolumne, Mariposa, Calaveras, and Stanislaus County’s are covered here. Look for information regarding specific towns along the highway 49 corridor including Jamestown, Sonora and Mariposa.