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Amador City, Heart of the Gold Rush Country

The Gateway to Amador City highlights the major architectural buildings in town. The rock wall was made from an historic, dry stack rock wall displaced by the bypass constriction.

Photo © Karrie Lindsay

"Amador City stands today among the liveliest and most go ahead towns on the Pacific Coast. It is situated in a romantic spot on the Drytown wagon road, two miles from the Creek. Old landmarks in the shape of frame business houses have disappeared and substantial brick edifices risen in their stead." This was written in the Sacramento Daily Union, January 27, 1879!

Jose Maria Amador, a wealthy California rancher, mined along a nameless creek in 1848 - 1849. Later in 1854 his name was used to designate the town and a new county in California - Amador County. Gold mines surrounded the area, bringing miners and necessary businesses. In 1915 the town was incorporated. Still a viable working town today, Amador City is the smallest incorporated city in the state, located on the Golden Chain Highway.

The oldest known substantial structure was most likely built around 1855 and is now part of the Amador Hotel. The oldest store in the City dates from the 1860s. Electricity came in the mid-1860s and telephone service in 1878. Some historians believe that there were more than 4,000 folks in the City during the height of the Gold Rush.

The street names in Amador City paint a unique picture: God's Hill, School Street, Cross Street, Pig Turd Alley, Church Street, Bunker Hill, Water Street and Stringbean Alley to name a few. In fact, you could gently walk every street in the City in under 1 1/2 hours.

Rather than become an uninhabited ghost town, a few Amador City residents and shop keepers would not let it die. Today, it is a prime example of a historic town retaining its look and feel of a thriving Gold Rush town from 150 years ago. Come and explore our engaging museum dedicated to the role of women in the Gold Rush era, stay at the fine lodging establishment, enjoy food from comfort to hand crafted bakery items to fine dining and shop at the eclectic shops. Click here to view the web cam looking over the Sierra Nevada Foothills that surround Amador City.

Explore Amador City with the free, self-guided walking tour map available between County Living and the Putz and Murphy stores. The tour takes about an hour. The accompanying photographic essay shows only a portion of our historic city!

For More Information, Contact:

Joyce Davidson

Amador City, City Clerk
14531 School Street, Amador City, CA 95601

Bob & Lotet Wilson wrote on August 24, 2011: Coming to see you, Amador - right soon!

Ruth Doering wrote on October 04, 2010: Most Interesting to know about Amador City. Thank you for the information

sandy jurisich wrote on August 19, 2010: There is no other small town like this. The people are all so friendly, and it has a wonderful selection of unique shops. You feel like you are instantly "back in time".

Scott Johnson wrote on August 19, 2010: Having taken the self guided tour myself, I recommend a visit to Amador City.

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Boundaries and names shown do not necessarily reflect the map policy of National Geographic.

Longitude: -120.824697000
Latitude: 38.419250500
Elevation: 916 FT (279 M)
Kirk and Karrie, Geotourists.
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Kirk and Karrie, Geotourists.
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