Iowa Hill, California

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Iowa Hill
Unincorporated community
Iowa Hill is located in California
Iowa Hill
Iowa Hill
Location in California
Coordinates: 39°06′31″N 120°51′34″W / 39.10861°N 120.85944°W / 39.10861; -120.85944Coordinates: 39°06′31″N 120°51′34″W / 39.10861°N 120.85944°W / 39.10861; -120.85944
Country  United States
State  California
County Placer County
Elevation[1] 2,861 ft (872 m)
Reference No. 401

Iowa Hill (formerly, Iowa City)[2] is an unincorporated community in Placer County, California.[1] Iowa Hill is located 6.5 miles (10.5 km) north-northwest of Foresthill.[2] It lies at an elevation of 2861 feet (872 m).[1] It was the last town in the United States to get landline phone service.

It is 58 miles (93 km) northeast of Sacramento. It has about 200 residents and is described as "Bound on the west by Iowa Hill Divide and on the east by Indian Creek, 0.96 km (0.6 mi) northeast of First Sugarloaf and 2.4 km (1.5 mi) southwest of Monona Flat."[1]


In 1853, miners from Iowa discovered gold there.[2] The Iowa City post office opened in 1854, changed its name to Iowa Hill in 1901.[2] The town is now registered as California Historical Landmark #401.[3]

Landline telephone service[edit]

In 1955, the first dial telephone service was installed. Running between Iowa Hill and Colfax, California, it was put in by local residents led by Robert F. Yonash.[4][5] The line was in operation for over ten years, but eventually became nonoperational due to the lack of anyone to do maintenance.

The community did not have landline telephone service again until 2010, relying instead on radio communications and mobile telephones. In October 2010, landline service again became available, paid for in part by a grant from the California Public Utilities Commission.[6] [7] [8] [9] This service uses microwave towers to the Foresthill Telephone Company in Foresthill, California.

The community still relies on generators for its electricity, since Iowa Hill is not connected to the electrical grid.[7]


The Iowa Hill Mine is located nearby at 39°06′36″N 120°50′34″W / 39.11000°N 120.84278°W / 39.11000; -120.84278.[10] There are dozens of famous gold mines in the area, including "Big Dipper" and "Gleason"[11][12]


This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Iowa Hill has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Iowa Hill, California
  2. ^ a b c d Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 503. ISBN 1-884995-14-4. 
  3. ^ "Iowa Hill". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  4. ^ Colfax Record Newspaper, Colfax, California
  5. ^ Personal memories of the daughter of Robert Yonash
  6. ^ Boone, Rick (October 16, 2010). "Small Town Iowa Hill Gets Landline Phone Service". Sacramento, California: FOX40 News, KTXL-TV. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b George, Warren (October 16, 2010). "Placer County's Iowa Hill finally gets telephones". Sacramento, California: News10/KXTV. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  8. ^ "California Town Gets Phone Service for First Time in History". Fox News. October 18, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Resolution T-17114. Rural Telecommunications Infrastructure Grant Program. Resolution Authorizing Revised Scope And Disbursement Of Funds for Additional Grant Funding From California High Cost Fund A for the Iowa Hill (Placer County) Project.". California Public Utilities Commission. November 1, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  10. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Iowa Hill Mine
  11. ^ Hoover, Mildred Brooke; Kyle, Douglas E. (1990). Historic Spots in California (4th ed.). Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. pp. 264–265. ISBN 0-8047-1734-6. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  12. ^ Parker, Mary (1995). Iowa Hill: the town that refused to die. M. Parker. OCLC 43887819. 
  13. ^ Climate Summary for Iowa Hill, California