North Columbia, California

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North Columbia
North Columbia is located in California
North Columbia
North Columbia
Location within the state of California
Coordinates: 39°22′22″N 120°59′14″W / 39.37278°N 120.98722°W / 39.37278; -120.98722Coordinates: 39°22′22″N 120°59′14″W / 39.37278°N 120.98722°W / 39.37278; -120.98722
Country United States
State California
Elevation3,015 ft (919 m)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)

North Columbia was a California Gold Rush town on the San Juan Ridge in Nevada County, California. Originally known as Columbia, Columbia Hill, or The Hill because of its proximity to Columbia Hill, it started as a gold miners' camp around 1851.[2] When a Post Office was established on May 29, 1860, the word "North" was added in order to differentiate the settlement from Columbia, California, another gold rush town in Tuolumne County, California.[3]

In 1878, when miners discovered that the Pliocene gravel bed upon which the town was built contained rich gold deposits, North Columbia was moved to its present location.[4] But with the eventual curtailment of hydraulic mining,[5] miners moved away. The post office closed in 1931.[6]

Eventually, North Columbia became an unincorporated part of Nevada City, California.

Historic landmarks[edit]

The Columbia Hill Schoolhouse still stands, though it has been converted into a cultural center,[3][7] hosting events such as the North Columbia Folk Festival[8] and the Sierra Storytelling Festival.[9]

Foote's Crossing Road, a National Historic Place, links North Columbia to Alleghany.[4]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: North Columbia, California
  2. ^ Bancroft, H.H.; Oak, H.L.; Nemos, W.; Victor, F.F. (1888). History of California. The History company. pp. 358. north columbia gold.
  3. ^ a b "North Columbia". Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  4. ^ a b Hoover, M.B.; Kyle, D.E. (2002). Historic spots in California. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. p. 261. ISBN 0-8047-4482-3.
  5. ^ Koschmann, A.H.; Bergendahl, M.H. (1968). "Nevada County California Gold Production". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  6. ^ Durham, D.L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Word Dancer Press. p. 531. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  7. ^ "Living Room Plays at North Columbia Ampitheatre [sic]". Auburn Journal. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  8. ^ "Third annual North Columbia hootenanny raises the roof". The Union. 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  9. ^ "Queen of Storytelling Festivals Celebrates its 23rd Year". Retrieved 2008-08-09.

External links[edit]