Amador City - Rich Gold Rush Era History

Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

As one travels East on Highway 16 from Sacramento, they journey through little California Gold Rush era towns with names like Slough House and Bridge House, before reaching the Highway 49 turnoff heading south.  About 35 miles from Sacramento, travelers reach Amador City, three miles south of Dry Town, 2 miles north of another historic community, Sutter Creek, and just 4 more miles on into Jackson.

A favorite activity I have with a few of my grandkids, is to have them visit me for a "Paint Your Wagon" weekend.  For those of you who remember the old 1970s Lee Marvin movie by that name, you will recall it as a hilarious comedy of California Gold Rush antics in "fictitiously" named  "No Name City" - which I am certain is a spoof on Jackson, California (approximately 6 miles from Amador City).  The kids and I generally start off Friday night watching the flick while picnicking and camping out on my living room floor.  The next morning we rise early, jump in the car, and head to Gold Country, to explore, visit mines and caverns in the area, and to dine on ice cream.

Between Sacramento and Jackson, there is a daisy chain of these little gold rush towns and communities steeped with rich mining and pioneer history.

Even before the California Gold Rush was spurred by the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, John Sutter had a lumbering operation in the vicinity of Amador City.

When I view old photographs from the 1860s to present day, I am amazed at how little change has come to the little community.  The major change is the paved road that now occupies what was once only dirt.

Amador City is named after Jose' Maria Amador, who with his companions set up camp in 1848, to collect gold from the creek bottom.  Amador was well-known as a ranchero from the Livermore Valley.  He had left his comfortable home in search of riches in this wild Sierra Foothill countryside.

For more history on Amador City you can visit: and

For Gold Rush Country activities in the 40 mile vicinity between Sacramento and Jackson - including cavern tours, gold mine tours, dining and lodging, you can visit: and


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Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi Myrl, You have some wonderful historic places to visit in your area. Everytime I read about your grandkids, it always reminds me what an awesome Grandma you must be to them. They must love you dearly!  Campouts on the living room floor, exploring mines, and ice cream. It doesn't get any better than that!

Jul 21, 2009 04:51 AM #1
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Sandy - I'm really lucky with my grandkids. . .All 7 of 'em!  There is a saying, "What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas."  But, my grandkids have coined a new saying, "What happens at Nana's house, stays at Nana's house."  We have a conspiracy against the parents. . .but only in a good way:-)



Jul 21, 2009 05:02 AM #2
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Hi Myrl, Sandy took the words right out of my mouth! You are one awesome grandma, and I love reading up on all your local history. The pictures are fantastic too! Way to go Myrl. Really puts your location on my bucket list I have to say.

Have a wonderful day.

Jul 21, 2009 05:50 AM #3
Xinh Truong
Connect Realty.Com, Inc. - San Leandro, CA

I've never been to Amador City, but this little town (city) is so cute.  Thanks for the great photos

Jul 21, 2009 07:05 AM #4
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Andrea - I'd love to see you come this way to visit our part of the country.  I'm certain you would find it a worthy spot on your bucket list.

Xinh - You should plan on making a little trip. . .I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed:-)

Jul 21, 2009 07:12 AM #5
Gerry Khatchikian
Red Lodge, MT


Great makes for a great Localism post!  I enjoyed learning about the history of Amador City and viewing the slide show.   I also got a sudden craving for ice cream.  I wonder why.  :)

Jul 21, 2009 08:46 AM #6
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate - Northumberland, NH

Thanks for sharing these pics,  I love the old town keep natural.

Jul 21, 2009 11:10 AM #7
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Gerry - I think I have a clue about the ice cream. . .LOL

Caron - I'd hate to see Amador City change in any way. . .Thanks for visiting!

Jul 21, 2009 01:54 PM #8
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Myrl, It sounds like so much fun to have a "Paint Your Wagaon " weekend with you!  These are things I love, history and little towns!  What is really interesting to me, is I just visited a old gold mining town in Colorado last week, and I live near the Livermore Valley ( in Colorado).  Isn't that a co- inky- dink!!  Thank you for the terrific photos of Amador City and the rich history there, Myrl.

Jul 21, 2009 03:40 PM #9
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Myrl, I love these old historical districts and the antiquities they hold. I hope we will preserve these areas. Thanks for sharing some more history of the Sacramento area. Love this and the photos are excellent.

Jul 21, 2009 04:01 PM #10
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

Hi Myrl!
Actually, my personal favorite is Sutter Creek...have you ever gone to Fine Eye? It is a very fun store! We use to go to the Chatterbox for the best burgers in the exaggeration, but they closed...darn!

Jul 21, 2009 04:52 PM #11
Janice Roosevelt
Keller Williams Brandywine Valley - West Chester, PA
OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker

Myrl: I so love your posts. I'm an armchair traveler to so many paces I would otherwise not know about. Thank you.

Jul 22, 2009 12:12 AM #12
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Mary - For some reason I can almost picture a bunch of us gals getting together for a "Paint Your Wagon" weekend.  There are some wonderful dining spots in Gold Country too.

William - Me too!  In a world of so much change, it is always wonderful to see some things with little change and remaining constant.

Paula - I like Sutter Creek as well.  But, I like the way Amador City photographs so nicely.

Janice - I'm an armchair traveler too. . .In fact today I was thinking it was time to get a subscription to National Geographic:-)

Jul 22, 2009 03:09 PM #13
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

If you're really going to have a Paint Your Wagon weekend, you're going to need at least one man to accompany this group of women.  Can I play Lee Marvin?  (Poor sub I know.)


Seriously, I made my first trip to Coloma last month...saw the Sutter mill...and Dutch Creek where my great-grandfather was caught by the census mining gold in December 1850...making $6 a day - above average.

He drove a wagon to Oregon for another family in 1848.  Came to Coloma in the spring of 1849.  He then: stayed two years, made enough to pay his passage by the California to Panama, crossed the isthmus, took the Brother Jonathan to New York, went back to Illinois, married his sweetheart, outfitted a wagon, and led his wife's family (and a full wagon train) to Oregon in 1852.

That's my Gold Country story.

Jul 22, 2009 05:32 PM #14
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Jim - Your great-grandfather lived an extremely adventureous life.  I know Coloma really well, and think I know the Dutch Creek area, but need to revisit to make sure.   I am sure we gals could handle a guy or so on our "Paint Your Wagon" weekend. . .Wouldn't that be fun:-)

Jul 22, 2009 05:43 PM #15
c m
Colorado Springs, CO

Lovin' these shots, Myrl! they look so familiar, as so many of our gold and silver mining towns in CO look like yours, in CA.  My favorite book of all time is based on the true life and letters of a writer who lived in little mining towns in both of our states, and the author is from CA, "Angle of Repose" by Wallace Stegner. 

Jul 24, 2009 03:10 PM #16
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