Historical Markers in
Tuolumne County, California

-Yo- Semite House 75 Pound Nugget A Bountiful Place to Live A Cosmopolitan Society A Home for Immigrants A Portal of the Past Arrastra Bald Rock Ranch Big Gap Flume Big Oak Flat Bixel Brewery Bonanza Mine Charles Crist Kress Cherokee Chief William Fuller Chinese Camp City Hotel Civilian Conservation Corps Claverie Building Columbia Columbia Columbia Cemetery Columbia Marble Quarry Columbia Masonic Cemetery Columbia Masonic Temple Columbia School House Community Hall / Jamestown Justice Court Confidence Mine Don Pedro Lake Eagle Cotage Earl Purdy Emigrant Trail Terminus Ferretti Shrine First Home of Wells Fargo & Company in Sonora First Two-Story House in Sonora Following in their Footsteps - East Flange Rock French Camp Green Springs Groveland Groveland Hotel Hayes Station Hetch Hetchy Railroad Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and O’Shaughnessy Dam Hildreth Party Hon. Jesse M. Mayo Hose Cart House In Memory of David Erickson Inspiration Point Iron Door Saloon Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacob Richard Stoker James Wood Coffroth Jamestown Jamestown Branch Jail Jamestown United Methodist Church Jedediah Strong Smith Jewels of the High Country Joseph E. Lemos Kennedy Meadows Mark Twain Bret Harte Trail Mark Twain Cabin Mark Twain Cabin Mark Twain Cabin Monitor of Knickerbocker Flat Montezuma Mormon Battalion Monument National Hotel Old Crimea House Original Site of the Sonora Daily O’Shaughnessy Dam Parrott’s Ferry Parsons Memorial Lodge Producing Clean Renewable Energy Prosper Rocher Brewery Ralph’s Station Ramirez – Preston Building Red Light District Rocca Park Rother's Corner Route of the Bartleson-Bidwell Party - 1841 Sawmill Flat Scraping the Rocks Clean Second Garrote Shaw’s Flat Sierra Railroad Sierra Railway Shops Site of Donnell & Parsons Building Site of the First Office of The Union Democrat Site of the Sonora Plaza Well Sonora Sonora Fountain Sonora Inn Sonora IOOF Lodge No. 10 Sonora Mono Road Sonora Mono Toll Road Sonora Opera Hall Sonora Pass Sonora Pass – Mono Road Soulsbyville Soulsbyville Springfield Springfield Cemetery St. James Church Standard Township Stevens Bar Bridge Stockton Road and the Shay Engine Strawberry Sugg House The Burns Cottage The Emigrants of 1852-1853 The Emporium – 1897 The Humbug Mine The Joseph Lord House The Last Battle The Willow Tioga Pass Road To Honor Eddie Webb To Honor the Chinese Pioneers Trails and Waterfalls Tuolumne (formerly called Summersville) Tuolumne County Albert N. Francisco Building Tuolumne County Courthouse Tuolumne County Jail Tuolumne Memorial Hall Tuttletown Veterans Memorial Building Water Quality at Hetch Hetchy Water, Precious as Gold Welcome to Italian Bar West Side Memorial Park Westside Flume & Lumber Company Wilson/McConnell House Woods Crossing Yosemite Ghost Mines “Railtown 1897”
The San Francisco cable car system is the world's last manually operated cable car system. The system was built in 1873 and is a National Historic Landmark. The cable cars are a popular tourist attraction and are featured in many movies and TV shows.
Tuolumne County, located in central California, has a rich history that spans thousands of years. The region was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Miwok, who lived in harmony with the land for centuries. European exploration of the area began in the early 19th century, with fur trappers and explorers venturing into the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

In the mid-1800s, the discovery of gold in the Sierra foothills led to the famous California Gold Rush. Tuolumne County became a prominent mining area and attracted thousands of miners seeking their fortunes. Towns such as Sonora and Columbia sprung up, becoming bustling centers of trade and commerce. Numerous mines were established, extracting gold, silver, and other precious minerals from the rich veins in the mountains.

By the late 19th century, the gold rush had waned, and the economy of Tuolumne County shifted towards other industries. Timber became a significant resource, with sawmills and logging operations thriving in the region. The pristine forests provided ample timber for buildings, railroads, and other infrastructure. The timber industry remained an important part of the county's economy for decades.

Today, Tuolumne County has evolved into a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and tourism. Its stunning landscapes, including the iconic Yosemite National Park, draw visitors from around the world. Heritage sites such as Columbia State Historic Park preserve the area's mining history, allowing visitors to experience life during the gold rush era. The county's rich Native American heritage is also celebrated, with cultural events and exhibits showcasing the history and traditions of the local tribes.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Tuolumne County, California.

  • 1848 - Gold is discovered in Tuolumne County, leading to the California Gold Rush
  • 1850 - Tuolumne County is officially established as a county in California
  • 1851 - The town of Sonora is founded
  • 1852 - Tuolumne County experiences a major fire, resulting in the destruction of most of Sonora
  • 1861 - Rail service begins in Tuolumne County
  • 1875 - Yosemite National Park is established, including parts of Tuolumne County
  • 1890 - Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is built in Tuolumne County
  • 1933 - The construction of Tuolumne County's first dam, Don Pedro Dam, is completed
  • 1940s-1950s - Tuolumne County experiences a decline in mining and an increase in tourism
  • 1997 - The Red Cloud Mine in Jamestown reopens, bringing a resurgence in gold mining
  • 2020 - Tuolumne County faces challenges related to wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic