Diamond Springs

Diamond Springs was settled in 1848 as a stopping point for travelers heading to Coloma and the gold discovery that sparked the Gold Rush. It was named for crystal clear springs that provided cool, clean water (though one story claims it was named for quartz crystals that were mistakenly thought to be diamonds). Nobody stayed long, however, as their was gold to be had elsewhere. This changed, however, in Summer 1850 when a party from Missouri found gold in one of the nearby ravines.

Before long, miners flooded Diamond Springs. In addition to plentiful gold, Diamond Springs was also in an advantageous location for business. Anyone traveling from Sacramento to Placerville had to pass through, and many freighters made Diamond Springs their headquarters. In 1851, the town could already boast a population of 1500, and in 1854 it was a contender to become the new county seat after mining in Coloma declined; Diamond Springs placed 3rd out of 5 when voting was complete and Placerville became the new seat. Nevertheless, Diamond Springs continued to prosper.

On August 5, 1856, disaster struck. A fire broke out in a building at the center of town and, with the help of a strong breeze, caused $150,000 in damage. It is though to be connected to two other fires that struck around the same time: one in Placerville and one in Georgetown, which each caused considerable damage. No incendiary was ever caught, however, nor any motive uncovered. Diamond Springs rebuilt slowly as gold had started to decline, and was struck by fire again on September 23, 1859. Once again, Diamond Springs rebuilt.

Today, Diamond Springs is a quiet community of around 11,000, many of which commute to the Sacramento area. A handful of historic buildings remain, and the town is listed as a California Historical Landmark.

I Visited Diamond Springs