North Bloomfield, California
North Bloomfield housed the miners and managers of the massive Malakoff Diggins hydraulic mine. The town is now the headquarters of Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. It is preserved and unoccupied aside from park staff. Many of the structures in town appeared to be suffering from deferred maintenance when I visited in 2014. The California State Parks department had been in a years long budget crisis which might explain the deterioration. There is a small museum in town and examples of mining equipment on display outside. There is a cash only entry/parking fee for the entire park which is collected at the museum.
North Bloomfield was first settled in the 1850s by prospectors and placers. In 1866, the North Bloomfield Gravel Mining Company started work on the nearby Malakoff Diggins hydraulic mine which began North Bloomfield's most prosperous period. Prior to the 1884 Sawyer Decision, which drastically curtailed hydraulic mining, North Bloomfield had as many as 1,500 residents. I've written a detailed description of hydraulic mining and the Sawyer Decision on the Malakoff Diggins page here. North San Juan, Nevada City and Grass Valley are other, nearby, gold rush towns.
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