Iowa Hill, California

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Cyclists riding Iowa Hill Rd
Iowa Hill
Unincorporated community
Iowa Hill is located in California
Iowa Hill
Iowa Hill
Iowa Hill is located in USA
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 Road
Iowa Hill Bridges

Iowa Hill (formerly, Iowa City)[2] is an unincorporated community in Placer County, California.[1] The town is located 6.5 miles northwest of Foresthill [2] 9 miles east of Colfax and 58 miles northeast of Sacramento. It lies at an elevation of 2861 feet. The community relies completely upon solar panels and generators for power. Population is around 200 people. Iowa Hill Road claims a small handful of lives every decade, and along with its "off grid" status, prevents the town from growing in population. The community boasts many hardcore cyclists and is appealing to visitors due to the abundance of recreational opportunities.

Iowa Hill Road is a very steep, one-lane, winding road embedded within the mountains. There are no safety guardrails. Since ambulance service from Colfax takes a long time, emergency medical transport is supplemented by CALSTAR, the area's air rescue helicopter. A landing pad is located next to the town fire house.

Culture[edit]

Locals are regularly spotted out and about the town and North Fork of the American River. Popular activities are hiking, cycling, swimming, whitewater rafting, kayaking, gold panning/mining and fishing. About 50% of the town's homes are vacation homes. The community relies solely on solar panels and generators for power since Iowa Hill is not connected to the electrical grid.[3] Mail service is three times per week. The Iowa Hill Store acts as a restaurant, bar, and post office.

Tourism[edit]

Iowa Hill enjoys a small but significant cult following of outdoor enthusiasts. Within 5 miles of town is the North Fork of the American River and the Mineral Bar Campground, Sugar Pine Reservoir recreation area, and numerous trails including the famous Stevens Trail between Colfax and Iowa Hill. The Mineral Bar Campground is part of the Auburn State Recreation Area, a State Park managed by the Bureau of Reclamation, which began charging for parking in 2013. Stevens Trailhead remains free to park. It begins adjacent the Iowa Hill Store spanning all the way to Colfax, crossing the North Fork in between.

History[edit]

In 1851 or 1852, miners from Iowa discovered gold here.[2] The Iowa City post office opened in 1854. Stores, breweries, saloons, fraternal lodges, homes, a church, school, and Temperance Hall are examples of businesses thriving in Iowa Hill in the mid-1850s. The town was producing about one hundred thousand dollars per week in gold in 1867. In 1901, the post office changed its name to Iowa Hill. In 1920 a fire took hold that virtually destroyed the town. What remains is an old Wells Fargo vault, the old fire house, a couple of other old buildings, and two cemeteries.[2] Iowa Hill is now registered as California Historical Landmark #401.[4]

Telephone service[edit]

In 1955, the first dial telephone service was installed running between Iowa Hill and Colfax, California, it was one line put in by local residents led by Robert F. Yonash.[5][6] The single landline was in operation for over ten years, but eventually became nonoperational due to the lack of maintenance. The long line was suspended from the town of Colfax over the American River Canyon where it would occasionally snap apart.

The community did not have landline telephone service again until 2011, relying instead on radio communications and spotty mobile/cell phones. In October 2011, landline service again became available, paid for in part by a grant from the California Public Utilities Commission.[3] [7] [8] [9] This service uses microwave towers to the Foresthill Telephone Company in Foresthill, California.

Mining[edit]

There are dozens of famous gold mines in the area, including "Big Dipper" and "Gleason"[10][11]

Frank Norris wrote a short story in 1903 titled The Wife of Chino about local miners who went into town to use the Iowa Hill Post Office.[12]

Climate[edit]

This region experiences variances in weather. Winter generally produces as much as 1–2 feet of snow with temperatures as low as 15 Degrees. Summers vary between 90-100 Degrees. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Iowa Hill has a hot summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.

Climate data for Iowa Hill (1893-2007)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 72
(22)
77
(25)
79
(26)
88
(31)
98
(37)
95
(35)
104
(40)
107
(42)
98
(37)
90
(32)
82
(28)
74
(23)
107
(42)
Average high °F (°C) 50
(10)
52.6
(11.4)
56.8
(13.8)
64.5
(18.1)
70.2
(21.2)
77.1
(25.1)
86.9
(30.5)
87.1
(30.6)
81
(27)
69.5
(20.8)
59.1
(15.1)
52.6
(11.4)
67.3
(19.6)
Average low °F (°C) 35.7
(2.1)
37.1
(2.8)
38.1
(3.4)
42.4
(5.8)
46.9
(8.3)
52
(11)
60.5
(15.8)
60.3
(15.7)
55.7
(13.2)
48.1
(8.9)
41.6
(5.3)
37.2
(2.9)
46.3
(7.9)
Record low °F (°C) 16
(−9)
18
(−8)
20
(−7)
23
(−5)
32
(0)
34
(1)
44
(7)
46
(8)
40
(4)
30
(−1)
28
(−2)
21
(−6)
16
(−9)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 10.14
(257.6)
8.34
(211.8)
7.86
(199.6)
4.12
(104.6)
2.39
(60.7)
0.74
(18.8)
0.1
(3)
0.18
(4.6)
0.87
(22.1)
2.64
(67.1)
6.72
(170.7)
8.83
(224.3)
52.93
(1,344.4)
Average precipitation days 11 10 11 8 5 2 0 1 2 4 8 10 72
Source: WRCC[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 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. ^ a b George, Warren (October 16, 2010). "Placer County's Iowa Hill finally gets telephones". Sacramento, California: News10/KXTV. Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Iowa Hill". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  5. ^ Colfax Record Newspaper, Colfax, California
  6. ^ Personal memories of the daughter of Robert Yonash
  7. ^ Boone, Rick (October 16, 2010). "Small Town Iowa Hill Gets Landline Phone Service". Sacramento, California: FOX40 News, KTXL-TV. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. 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. ^ 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. (harcover : alkaline paper), 0804717354 (pbk. : alkaline paper). Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  11. ^ Parker, Mary (1995). Iowa Hill: the town that refused to die. M. Parker. OCLC 43887819. 
  12. ^ Norris, Frank (1903). "A deal in wheat : and other stories of the new and old West". New York: Doubleday, Page & Company. pp. 29–58. Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  13. ^ "IOWA HILL, CA (044288)". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved November 29, 2015.