The state's name is derived from a novel called "Las Sergas de Esplandián," which was published in 1510. The book, written by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, tells the story of a mythical island called California that is ruled by Queen Calafia and is said to be filled with gold and precious stones.
El Dorado County, located in Northern California, has a rich and diverse history that stretches back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Nisenan, Miwok, and Maidu peoples, who thrived in the region's abundant natural resources.

The arrival of European settlers in the 1840s brought significant changes to the area. James W. Marshall's discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848 triggered the California Gold Rush, and El Dorado County quickly became a popular destination for prospectors. Towns like Coloma sprung up practically overnight, as thousands rushed to find their fortunes in the gold fields.

As the Gold Rush waned, El Dorado County still played a crucial role in California's history. The area became known for its rich agricultural lands and scenic beauty, attracting settlers who sought to establish themselves as ranchers and farmers. The California Trail, a major passage for pioneers migrating westward, also ran through the county during this time.

In the 20th century, El Dorado County saw continued growth and development. The county's natural beauty and proximity to the state capital, Sacramento, made it an attractive location for residential and recreational opportunities. Today, El Dorado County is a vibrant community that blends its historical charm with modern amenities, drawing in both locals and visitors alike.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of El Dorado County, California.

  • 1848: Gold is discovered in Coloma, leading to the California Gold Rush.
  • 1850: El Dorado County is established on February 18 as one of California's original 27 counties.
  • 1851: Diamond Springs becomes the county seat.
  • 1854: Placerville becomes the county seat, a position it holds to this day.
  • 1856: The El Dorado County Courthouse is constructed in Placerville.
  • 1864: Folsom State Prison opens, providing employment opportunities for residents.
  • 1876: The Central Pacific Railroad reaches El Dorado County, boosting economic development.
  • 1888: The Southern Pacific Railroad extends its line to Placerville.
  • 1901: The El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce is established.
  • 1928: The El Dorado County Historical Society is founded to preserve the county's heritage.
  • 1955: The El Dorado National Forest is established.
  • 1961: Lake Tahoe becomes a major tourist destination for the county.