Two Spanish men set up a camp in Meadow Valley in July 1850. Their camp was a quarter mile north of Old Oroville-Quincy Road and six miles west of Quincy. The area became known as Spanish Ranch with Spanish Creek and Spanish Peak rising above at an elevation of more than 7,000 feet. Spanish Ranch became a distribution center for surrounding camps. The two original residents raised and slaughtered cattle.
By 1852, the town's population expanded and featured a hotel, a blacksmith shop, and general store. A Wells Fargo office opened in 1868. Gold was plentiful in Spanish Ranch. By 1881, miners found more than $114,000 in gold coin and bouillon.
Buck’s Ranch was situated nearby, occupied by Horace Bucklin and Francis Walker. The area was rich in ore. Miners found gold, silver and copper in one compact area. Bucklin was the namesake for Buck’s Lake. The Buck’s Ranch buildings were destroyed first by fire and then the remains of the town was flooded by the water of Buck’s Lake when the dam was built in 1925.
Buck’s Ranch evolved into an important stage and mail stop during the Gold Rush years. Mail on its way to Quincy and other nearby camps passed through the Buck’s Ranch station. Passengers used to pay a toll on the Old Stage Road between Quincy and Oroville. Today the tollgate is long gone.
Today Spanish Creek is the name of a scenic campground offering campers an opportunity to splash in the creek. The Spanish Creek Motel is also available for out of town visitors.
The historical landmark is located on a Spanish Ranch side road, Buck's Lake Rd, 5.8 mi W of Quincy.
El Rio de las Plumas, “The river of feathers,” lends its name to Plumas County. Captain Luis Arguello named the river, having been impressed by the many floating feathers on the water. Plumas County also contains Beckwourth Pass, the lowest summit of the High Sierra, which quickly became a favorite route of wagon trains.