Auburn, CA

Auburn History

Archaeological evidence shows that the indigenous Nisenan tribe established the first permanent settlement in Auburn, California. However, the city did not receive its name until August 1849, one year after three French gold miners camped at a ravine initially called North Fork Dry Diggings.

Since the mine yielded a good share of gold deposits, it attracted many prospectors. As the camp’s population grew to 1,500 people in only two years, mining operations were re-located up the ravine, and Auburn became the seat of Placer County in 1851. The town achieved major status in 1865 when it became connected to the Central Pacific Railroad.

Some of the buildings from the Gold Rush years have been restored in Old Town. These include the post office and the oldest fire station. The Placer County Museum holds mining accessories as well as Chinese and American Indian artifacts relevant to the area. Auburn was the birthplace and home of Clarke Ashton Smith, a famous writer, and poet who has a memorial near Old Town.


Auburn comprises 7.14 square miles in the Sacramento metropolitan area and was home to approximately 13,905 inhabitants in 2013. This makes for a population density of more than 1,800 per square mile.

In 2010, almost 20 percent of households had family members under 18, and just over five percent had children under five years. Over 87 percent of inhabitants had lived in their homes for at least one year, and 52.8 percent of the city’s residents were female. The average travel time to work was just under 24 minutes per person. The total number of housing units was 6,139, and 55.5 percent of the homes were owned. Auburn residents had a median income of $59,238 (between 2008 and 2010), and 12.1 percent of its inhabitants were below the poverty level.


This city is served by Amtrak several times a day. It is connected by three Interstate Highway 80 exits as well as California Highway 49. The latter functions as the main north-south thoroughfare and connects the city with Placerville, Nevada City, and Grass Valley. Auburn in California also has a municipal airport north of town. The surrounding terrain includes rolling foothills to the west and mountainous wilderness to the east. Auburn is located 45 miles west of the crest of the Sierra Nevada and ten miles to the east of the Central Valley.


The city’s climate is characterized by hot, dry summers and cool, damp winters. Summers see an average of 59 days with temperatures above 90 °F. December temperature normally ranges from a low of 37 °F to a high of 54 °F. Precipitation averages around 35 inches annually, spread out over a median of 70 days. Snow is rare and temperatures don’t usually fall below the freezing point.

Auburn in California is called the Endurance Capital of the World because it is home to the busiest sporting endurance event facility in the world (the Auburn State Recreation Area). Famous events held here include the Auburn International Half Iron Man Triathlon, the American River 50 Mile Equestrian Ride, and the Auburn Century 100 Mile Bike Ride.

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Published by Jose Espinoza, ,