La Panza, California

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La Panza, a populated place, formerly a gold boom town, in San Luis Obispo County, California. It lies in the La Panza Range at an elevation of 1880 feet (573m).[1] La Panza derives from a Spanish word for paunch of beef, that Californio hunters used to lure bears. The location was recorded in 1828, with the name paraje la panza (the paunch place).[2]


The discovery of placer gold in La Panza Canyon in 1878 began a small gold rush and La Panza grew into a gold mining boomtown. It had its own post office from November 4, 1879 to June 15, 1908.[2]

The site today[edit]

One dilapidated building remains at the site, on private property, and can be seen from the Pozo Road. Placer gold mining and quartz mining claims are still worked in the vicinity.[3]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: La Panza
  2. ^ a b Erwin Gustav Gudde, California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Names, University of California Press, 1960, p.172
  3. ^ La Panza District, La Panza Mts, San Luis Obispo Co., California, USA from accessed December 21, 2013

Coordinates: 35°21′40″N 120°12′56″W / 35.36111°N 120.21556°W / 35.36111; -120.21556