Bath, Placer County, California History

The settlement at Bath was first made in the summer of 1850, by a man named John Bradford, a merchant, at that time doing business at Stony Bar. His attention was first drawn to the place by the excellent pasturage it furnished for his mules, and the beauty of the location for a stock ranch. He therefore built a cabin in which to reside and store his goods upon their arrival from Sacramento in wagons, to be packed to the store at Stony Bar as they were required or as occasion served, and also built a brush fence around the cove, claiming it as a ranch. Some time during the fall of the year 1850; the place attracted the attention of some miners from the Middle Fork of the American River, who purchased the place of Bradford for a small sum, and located there for the winter, intending to hunt deer, and mine in the dry gulches which debouch into Volcano Canon. Among this party were D. P. Marshall, and Thomas Creagh, who are now residents of Forest Hill. By this party gold was discovered in the gulches, and, gradually, as the news of the existence of gold in paying quantities became known, miners flocked to the place and formed a settlement, and who dignified the place by giving it the name of Volcano.

The following year, in consequence Of the discovery of rich “hill diggings” by the Blakeman brothers, who located the “Mint Drop” claims, and by Isaac Snodgrass, who took up the ” Snodgrass claims,” large numbers of miners flocked to the place, and rapidly built up a town. There being another town of the same name on the opposite side of the Middle Fork of the American River, at that time of equal importance, and considerably its senior, it was thought proper to change its name, which was done at a town meeting, called for the purpose, and it was afterwards known as Sarahsville, which name was given it in honor of the wife of a man called ” Blaze.” Her christian name being Sarah, and she being the first lady settler of the place, the gallant pioneers considered the place honored by bearing her name. Early in January 1858, the citizens of Sarahsville conceived the idea of having a Postoffice at that place; a town meeting was called, the name of the place changed from. Sarahsville to Bath; a petition drawn up and numerously signed, asking the Postoffice Department to establish a Postoffice at the town, was immediately forwarded; and in a short time a weekly mail route was established from Yankee Jim’s to Bath, which had the effect of rendering the new name permanent if the town itself was not. From this time, owing to the rapid growth of Forest Hill, a flourishing camp, one mile and a half distant, Bath commenced to decrease in population and importance, until at the present time it is but a small village, boasting of one hotel, one store, a butcher’s shop, one blacksmith’s shop, and one saloon. The mines, however, are rich, and will continue to support its present, and perhaps an increased population, for a number of years. It is a pleasant place to live, and a large number of the miners have located there with their families, and appear perfectly satisfied with it as a permanent home.

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