Amador County Points of Interest

  Drytown 10 October 2006
(Click Photos to Zoom)
State Route 49 at Bens Alley

A marker on the front of the store reads:


Rich placer mining, 1850s. Origin of town's name: lack of water in nearby creek to wash gold. Many Chinese laborers in fields & mines. East gateway to New Chicago, New Philadelphia, Amador City; Quartz mines: Fremont-Gover & Treasure (1867), Bunker Hill (1853); Scene of Rancheria Massacre (1855); Dynan Monument.

Dedicated 1988 by
Amador County Historical Society
Native Daughters of the Golden West, Forrest Parlor No. 86, Plymouth, CA

Two fires ravaged Drytown during the 1850s, one of which was an arson fire set to destroy the Chileno section of town. The fire was set to revenge the killing of nine Americans in what was known as the Rancheria Massacre of August 6, 1855.

In the Rancheria Massacre, a group of Mexican bandits using knives, guns, and an axe set upon six Americans. Vengeful Americans lynched more than twenty Mexicans in retaliation for the massacre, even though many of them had nothing to do with the event.

Much of the Spanish-speaking population disappeared after 1855, driven out by American hostility.

Another fire in 1857 spelled the final doom for Drytown. Because the gold was already diminishing, the buildings of Drytown were not rebuilt.

Source: Those Wild and Lusty Gold Camps by Alton Pryor, Stagecoach Publishing, 1999

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