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Columbia, CA. 8" x 10" Black and White Glossy. Circa 1950. Very good condition.

SKU: Columbia, CA town $4.95
Columbia is a town located in the Sierra Nevada foothills, in Tuolumne County, California, United States. It was founded as a boomtown in 1850 when gold was found in the vicinity, and was known as the "Gem of the Southern Mines." The town's historic central district is within the Columbia State Historic Park, which preserves the 19th century mining town features. The U.S. historic district is a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places Rev. John Steele wrote about his time in the gold rush era and about the "Mi-wuk" of Columbia in his memoirs In Camp and Cabin. Within weeks of finding gold in the vicinity of Columbia, thousands of people arrived and the population climbed to 5,000. By 1852, there were 8 hotels, 4 banks, 17 general stores, 2 firehouses, 2 bookstores, 1 newspaper, 3 churches, and over 40 drinking/gambling establishments. Between 1850 and the early 1900s, $150 million in gold was removed from the surrounding hills. In 1851, the local community brass band, a popular institution, greeted the arrival of the first "white woman" in town. Columbia had five cemeteries, including a Boot Hill, where burials were made without markers. In 1854, Columbia's first fire destroyed 6 city blocks. The town was rebuilt using brick with iron construction materials. In 1857, another fire burned down nearly everything else, except the brick buildings. The Columbia one-room school house was built in 1860, renovated in 1872, and finally closed in 1937. It was purchased by the state of California for $1 in 1947, and incorporated into the historic district park. By 1860, the gold mined in Columbia was diminishing rapidly. The only land left to mine was in the city itself. Miners dug under buildings and tore down houses to get at the gold beneath the city. Copper deposits were found in the area, with the nearby town of Copperopolis experiencing a boom. The bricks from the destroyed buildings in Columbia were sold for new construction in Copperopolis. Sonora, at its population serge was California's second-largest city although only about 2,000 people now live in this region. It was even considered briefly as a site for the state capitol of California. In 1854 the bulk of the town burned down and was re-built with brick and iron structures that survive to this day. Columbia never became a ghost town. In 1945, California created Columbia State Historic Park from the remains of the historical buildings of the city.