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Coloma, California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coloma, California
census-designated place
Coloma, 2008
Coloma, 2008
Location of Coloma in El Dorado County, California.
Location of Coloma in El Dorado County, California.
Coloma, California is located in California
Coloma, California
Coloma, California
Position in California.
Coordinates: 38°48′09″N 120°53′41″W / 38.80250°N 120.89472°W / 38.80250; -120.89472
Country United States
State California
County El Dorado
 • Total3.355 sq mi (8.690 km2)
 • Land3.355 sq mi (8.690 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation[2]764 ft (233 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total529
 • Density160/sq mi (61/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
GNIS feature ID1655915; 2582981
U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Coloma, California; U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Coloma, California
Sutters Mill.jpg
Sutter's Mill 1850
Nearest cityPlacerville, California[4]
Areac. 250 acres (100 ha)
NRHP reference #66000207[3]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966[3]
Designated NHLDJuly 4, 1961[5]

Coloma (formerly, Colluma and Culloma)[6] is a census-designated place[7] in El Dorado County, California, USA. It is approximately 36 miles (58 km) northeast of Sacramento, California. Coloma is most noted for being the site where James W. Marshall found gold in the Sierra Nevada foothills, at Sutter's Mill on January 24, 1848,[4] leading to the California Gold Rush. Coloma's population is 529.

The settlement is a tourist attraction known for its ghost town and the centerpiece of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. Coloma was designated a National Historic Landmark District on July 4, 1961.[4][5]

It lies at an elevation of 764 feet (233 m).[2]

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
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  • Coloma, CA | Two Minute Tour
  • Sutter's Mill site in Coloma, California gold rush
  • Coloma California Cheryl Shuman Frederic Rhoades Beverly Hills 90210 1
  • Coloma California Part 1 "A Brief Introduction To The First Site In Ca Where Gold Was Discovered"
  • Marshall Gold Discovery Park, Coloma, California


You’re about to take a tour through Coloma, California. It’s a good thing too, because there’s gold in those hills Well, there used to be anyway. In fact, in 1848 a fellow by the name of James W. Marshall discovered gold right here at Sutter’s Mill. By 1849 it seemed the entire nation had caught an incurable case of gold fever. About 300,000 people in all got caught up in the California Gold Rush, and some ended up here, 40 miles east of Sacramento in Coloma, a small town named for a native Nisenan word meaning, “beautiful”. Gold’s much harder to come by now, but youngsters can still give panning a try at the foot of the Mt. Murphy Bridge, which was something of a Gold Mine in it’s own right. Rumor has it, John Little and Edward Raun built a wagon bridge here in 1850 and collected $20,000 in tolls in the first three months If walking across that bridge made you uneasy you may be better suited for hikes on dry land. There’s plenty of trails in Coloma’s hills and a few along the American River’s South Fork where you might just spot some Mad as Hops river folk floating over rapids in all manner of contraption. Yes, Coloma is beautiful and full of adventure. Such excursions require suitable provisions and the Argonaut Farm to Fork Cafe along California’s historic Route 49 has just what you need to continue exploring the heart of California’s Gold Country.



Coloma grew around Sutter's Mill following the finding of gold.[6] A post office was established in 1849 under the name Culloma, changing to Coloma in 1851.[6]

One of Coloma's earliest settlers was Silas Sanderson (1824–1886), who went on to become the 7th Chief Justice of California.[8]

Ghost Town

Robert Bell's store in Coloma
Robert Bell's store in Coloma

While some people still live in the area, Coloma is considered something of a ghost town because civic buildings such as the jail have been abandoned and left to decay, and other buildings from its boom era (1847-1852) have been converted into museums and other historical displays. The tailrace of Sutter's Mill remains, along with a nearby reconstruction.[9]

In reality the meaningfulness of the township of Coloma has dissipated as residents who live in the wider Coloma Valley area generally share a community spirit.[10]

The town currently has approximately 300 inhabitants. The local economy is predominately agriculture[11] and tourism. Of particular note is the rafting industry as the South Fork American River is one of the most popular white water trips in North America.[12]

The name comes from the original natives' (Nisenan Native Americans) name for the valley Coloma is in: Cullumah, meaning "beautiful." Coloma is on the South Fork American River that runs through the valley and was built on the original Native American village of Koloma.[13]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
Post Office
Post Office
James Marshall cabin in Coloma
James Marshall cabin in Coloma

The 2010 United States Census[15] reported that Coloma had a population of 529. The population density was 157.7 people per square mile (60.9/km²). The racial makeup of Coloma was 462 (87.3%) White, 4 (0.8%) African American, 3 (0.6%) Native American, 8 (1.5%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 15 (2.8%) from other races, and 37 (7.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 63 persons (11.9%).

The Census reported that 429 people (93.6% of the population) lived in households, 34 (6.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

Rich Gold ore, Stuckslacker Mine, Coloma
Rich Gold ore, Stuckslacker Mine, Coloma

There were 216 households, out of which 44 (20.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 116 (53.7%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 14 (6.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 10 (4.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 22 (10.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 2 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 51 households (23.6%) were made up of individuals and 20 (9.3%) had someone living alone. The average household size was 2.29. There were 140 families (64.8% of all households); the average family size was 2.64.

The population was spread out with 69 people (13.0%) under the age of 18, 31 people (5.9%) aged 18 to 24, 127 people (24.0%) aged 25 to 44, 200 people (37.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 102 people (19.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 115.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 120.1 males.

There were 251 housing units at an average density of 74.8 per square mile (28.9/km²), of which 216 were occupied, of which 153 (70.8%) were owner-occupied and 63 (29.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 12.5%. 355 people (67.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units, and 140 people (26.5%) lived in rental housing units.


In the state legislature, Coloma is in the  1st Senate District, represented by Republican Ted Gaines,[16] and the  5th Assembly District, represented by Republican Frank Bigelow.[17]

Federally, Coloma is in California's  4th congressional district, represented by Republican Tom McClintock.[18]


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Coloma has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.[19]


  1. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California". United States Census Bureau.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Coloma, California
  3. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  4. ^ a b c Allen W. Welts (February 1970). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park / Coloma" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-06-22. and Accompanying one image, from 1850s (213 KB)
  5. ^ a b "Coloma". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
  6. ^ a b c Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 468. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  7. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Coloma, California
  8. ^ The State Register and Year Book of Facts: 1859. Henry G. Langley and Samuel A Morison. 1859.
  9. ^ "Marshall Gold Discovery SHP". California Depart of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  10. ^ "Coloma-Lotus News".
  11. ^ "After the Gold Rush: Agriculture".
  12. ^ "NO on El Dorado County Measure W - Coloma-Lotus Association of Merchants Opposes".
  13. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Koloma
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  15. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Coloma CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  16. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  17. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  18. ^ "California's  1st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  19. ^ "Coloma, California Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.

External links

This page was last edited on 17 November 2018, at 18:36
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