Remington Hill, California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Remington Hill
Former settlement
Remington Hill is located in California
Remington Hill
Remington Hill
Location in California
Coordinates: 39°16′43″N 120°47′38″W / 39.27861°N 120.79389°W / 39.27861; -120.79389Coordinates: 39°16′43″N 120°47′38″W / 39.27861°N 120.79389°W / 39.27861; -120.79389
Country United States
State California
CountyNevada County
Elevation4,052 ft (1,235 m)

Remington Hill is a historic mining camp in Nevada County, California which prospered in the second half of the 19th century.[1] It was named for Caleb Remington, a prominent local miner who lived mostly in neighboring Little York, where he died in 1865.[2] It lay at an elevation of 4052 feet (1235 m).[1] It was situated around present Chalk Bluff Road about one mile south of Highway 20 and about 5.5 miles southeast of the town of Washington and 6 miles northeast of Dutch Flat, as the crow flies.[3]


Little is known about its history. In 1854, it is described as a prosperous mining camp.[4] Its population in 1855 was recorded as 75.[5] By 1858, it was connected by stage to Nevada City.[6] In early 1859, a snowstorm crushed a number of homes and businesses, including a hotel, stable and slaughterhouse.[7] It did not have a school house or a post office. Residents got their mail at Red Dog, until that post office closed in 1869,[8] and sent their children to the Liberty Hill school district schoolhouse, located in neighboring Lowell Hill.[9]

Its leading citizens included Caleb Remington, who owned a number of local mines and mills, was active in politics and ran unsuccessfully for county sheriff in 1854,[10] and John Timmons, one of the builders of the Remington Hill and South Yuba ditches, who became a millionaire, lost it all and died in the poorhouse.[11]

Remington Hill was almost destroyed by fire in 1902. The fire burned for about two weeks over an area six by seven miles, destroying much timber and a number of homes before it was brought under control.[12]


Remington Hill lay on a gold bearing gravel channel on the Chalk Bluff Ridge, which lies between Steep Hollow and Greenhorn Creeks, tributaries of the Bear River. As the channel runs southwest, it joins a major channel running from the San Juan Ridge easterly through Red Dog and You Bet into Placer County.[13] Remington Hill became a center for both hydraulic and drift mining.[14] Water for hydraulic mining was brought from Steep Hollow Creek by a 16 mile ditch constructed between 1854 and 1857.[15] One of the town's claims to fame was that large gold nuggets or gold bearing boulders were found in the vicinity.[16]

Hydraulic mining came to an end in the early 1880s as a result of legal rulings banning the discharge of "tailings" (gravel which had been stripped of its gold) into the Bear[17] and Yuba Rivers.[18] It was later estimated that 1,750,000 cubic yards of gravel had been excavated from Remington Hill.[19] Drift mining continued profitably in the area into the early 1900s and sporadically thereafter.[20] Today, there is nothing left of the town, but Remington Hill can be located on many digital maps.[21]


  1. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Remington Hill, California
  2. ^ Gudde, E. G. (1975) California Gold Camps, p. 288; Nevada Gazette, October 19, 1865.
  3. ^ Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 545. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  4. ^ Gudde, id, p. 288, quoting the Daily Alta California, February 27, 1854; Sacramento Daily Union, February 27, 1854.
  5. ^ Janicot, Michel (1994) A History of Nevada County Post Offices, p. 33.
  6. ^ Nevada Democrat, November 3, 1858.
  7. ^ Nevada Journal, February 25, 1859.
  8. ^ Janicot, ibid, p. 33.
  9. ^ Thompson, Thomas H. and West, Albert A. (1970 ed.) History of Nevada County -1880, p. 215 (Cooper).
  10. ^ Comstock, David A., Lives of Nevada County Pioneers, p. 359.
  11. ^ Los Angeles Herald, March 23, 1895.
  12. ^ San Francisco Call, October 3, 1902; Madera Mercury, October 18, 1902.
  13. ^ MacBoyle, Errol (1918) Mines and Mineral Resources of Nevada County, pp. 30-33;Thompson and West, ibid, p. 179; Lindgren, Waldemar, (1911) The Tertiary Gravels of the Sierra Nevada of California, p. 147.
  14. ^ Gudde, ibid, p. 288; Sacramento Daily Union, May 16, 1856.
  15. ^ Thompson and West, ibid, p. 179; Sacramento Daily Union, November 28, 1857.
  16. ^ Lindgren, ibid p. 67; Nevada Journal, October 12, 1855; Nevada Democrat, July 27, 1859; Nevada Democrat, January 4, 1860.
  17. ^ Keyes v. Little York Gold & Water Co. which explicitly applied to Remington Hill; text of ruling reported in Pacific Rural Press, March 22, 1879.
  18. ^ The Sawyer decision, as it is commonly known, is reported as Woodruff v. North Bloomfield Gravel Mining Co., 18 F. 753 (CCD Cal. 1884).
  19. ^ Lindgren, ibid, p. 147.
  20. ^ Greenland, Powell, (2001) Hydraulic Mining in California, p. 259; Daily Alta California, August 13, 1888; Sacramento Union, October 4, 1907.
  21. ^ David Comstock, a resident of Chalk Bluff and a prominent local historian, informed the author that he visited Remington Hill in the 1970s and found no remains of the town.