California was the site of the nation's first successful oil well in 1892. The well was drilled in the city of Los Angeles and produced about 25 barrels of oil a day. Today, California remains a major oil-producing state.
Plumas County, located in northeastern California, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Maidu and Mountain Maidu, who lived off the natural resources of the region. In the 1840s, European settlers arrived, with the first known settlement by James Beckwourth, an African American fur trapper, in 1851.

The discovery of gold in the 1850s brought an influx of settlers to Plumas County, resulting in the establishment of various mining towns, including Rich Bar, Rabbit Creek, and American Ranch. The period of gold mining was short-lived, and by the late 1860s, many mining operations had closed. However, the county continued to develop as agriculture took hold of the region, with farming, logging, and ranching becoming prominent industries.

Plumas County was officially established on March 18, 1854, and named after the Spanish word for "feathers" due to the abundance of feathers from the many bird species in the area. Quincy, the county seat, became a hub for trade and commerce. The county grew steadily throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the construction of transportation infrastructure, such as railroads and roads, connecting it to the outside world.

In the latter half of the 20th century, Plumas County experienced a shift towards a more tourism-centered economy. Its natural beauty, including lakes, forests, and national parks, attracted a growing number of visitors seeking outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, and wildlife exploration. Today, Plumas County remains a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a blend of history, nature, and small-town charm.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Plumas County, California.

  • 1844 - John C. Fremont explores the region
  • 1850 - Plumas County is created as a county of California
  • 1851 - Gold is discovered in the area, leading to a gold rush
  • 1854 - Plumas County is divided into three separate counties: Plumas, Sierra, and Lassen
  • 1875 - Lassen County is split from Plumas County
  • 1895 - A devastating fire destroys nearly the entire town of Greenville
  • 1942-1945 - The Beckwourth Internment Camp, housing Japanese-Americans during World War II, is located in the county
  • 1984 - Plumas National Forest is established, protecting the county's natural resources
  • 2018 - Plumas County celebrates its 168th anniversary