National Register of Historic Places in Tuolumne County, California

Columbia 4 December 2012
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #66000242
Columbia Historic District
Parrots Ferry Road
Columbia State Historic Park
Settled in 1850
Incorporated in 1854
Designated State Historic Park in 1945

Columbia is probably the best preserved of the early gold rush towns in California's Mother Lode country.

Rich placer deposits were discovered by a party of miners on March 27, 1850. More than a thousand prospectors were immediately attracted to the scene, but a shortage of water - vital to the working of the placers - slowed the immediate development of the town.

A water company was formed in 1851, and a vast network of reservoirs, ditches and flumes was constructed. A second water company built a million dollar aqueduct to convey water for sixty miles from the South Fork of the Stanislaus River through the mountains to Columbia.

In 1855, a telegraph line form Stockton to Columbia was completed. In 1856, hydraulic mining began on a large scale. In 1858, gas distributed through wooden pipes was briefly illuminated the town.

During the 1850s, the population ranged between two and five thousand.

The Columbia Basin district yielded an estimated $87,000,000 in gold. [Webmaster note: almost $2.5 billion in 2012 dollars.]

By 1861, the boom was over, and by 1867, most of the population had left for Nevada and other fields. In the 1870s and 1880s, many vacant buildings were demolished, but Columbia never became a ghost town. Its population remained at about five hundred souls during the 20th century.

In 1945, the district became Columbia State Historic Park.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination dated 8 April 1964.

Name Year Address Remarks Sort Address Sort Name
Saint Anne's Catholic ChurchChurch Lane Church 10Saint Anne's Catholic Church
Catholic CemeteryChurch Lane Church 20Catholic Cemetery
Masonic HallWashington Between Broadway and MainWashington 10Masonic Hall
Fallon's HallWashington Between Broadway and MainWashington 20Fallon's Hall
Main Flume as of 1871Main Gulch05Main Flume as of 1871
Wells Fargo Building and WarehouseMain Between Washington and FultonMain 10Wells Fargo Building and Warehouse
D. O. Mills BankMain Between Washington and FultonMain 12D. O. Mills Bank
Soderer and Marshall BuildingMain Between Fulton and StateMain 20Soderer and Marshall Building
McChesney and Mills BuildingMain Between Fulton and StateMain 21McChesney and Mills Building
Hildebrand BuildingMain Between Fulton and StateMain 22Hildebrand Building
J. Levy Building - Tibbits BuildingMain Between Fulton and StateMain 23J. Levy Building - Tibbits Building
South Brainard BuildingMain Between Fulton and StateMain 24South Brainard Building
North Brainard BuildingMain Between Fulton and StateMain 25North Brainard Building
Franklin and Wolfe BuildingMain Between Fulton and StateMain 26Franklin and Wolfe Building
Schwartz Building - New York Dry Goods StoreMain Between Fulton and StateMain 27Schwartz Building - New York Dry Goods Store
Hildebrand BuildingMain Between State and JacksonMain 30Hildebrand Building
Leavitt and Walker BuildingMain Between State and JacksonMain 31Leavitt and Walker Building
Leavitt and Walker Building AdditionMain Between State and JacksonMain 32Leavitt and Walker Building Addition
Tuolumne Engine Co. No. 1State Between Broadway and MainState 10Tuolumne Engine Co. No. 1
Columbia Drug Store BuildingState Between Broadway and MainState 12Columbia Drug Store Building
McChesney Building (Second IOOF Hall)State Between Broadway and MainState 14McChesney Building (Second IOOF Hall)
Heynemann's SaloonMain Between Sate and JacksonMain 33Heynemann's Saloon
Morgan's HotelMain Between Sate and JacksonMain 34Morgan's Hotel
Saint Andrew's Presbyterian ChurchJackson and GoldJackson 10Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church
Knapp (Bayhaut) BuildingState Between Main and ColumbiaState 20Knapp (Bayhaut) Building
Knapp Building and WarehouseState Between Main and ColumbiaState 25Knapp Building and Warehouse
Siebert ResidenceState Between Main and ColumbiaState 28Siebert Residence
Wilson ResidenceMain Between Sate and JacksonMain 36Wilson Residence
Soderer and Marshall BuildingMain Between Sate and JacksonMain 38Soderer and Marshall Building
Columbia Fire HouseMain Between Sate and JacksonMain 39Columbia Fire House
JailColumbia Street Between State and JacksonColumbiaJail
Magendi BuildingJackson Between Main and ColumbiaJackson 20Magendi Building
Boehner StoreJackson Between Main and ColumbiaJackson 22Boehner Store
Italian SaloonJackson Between Main and ColumbiaJackson 24Italian Saloon
Alberding StoreMain and JacksonMain 40Alberding Store
Cloverie BuildingMain Between Jackson and PacificMain 50Cloverie Building
Old ReservoirPacific Near School House StreetPacificOld Reservoir
Public SchoolSchool House StreetSchool 10Public School
Public CemeterySchool House StreetSchool 20Public Cemetery
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