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The Piedmont Company - Grizzly Park Properties
An Independent Real Estate Company Serving Grizzly Flats Since 1973

Grizzly Flats History and Community Information

LOCATION: 21 Miles S.E. of Placerville

CLIMATE: 4000 Foot elevation. Average rainfall of 40". Average snow fall of 24" - sometimes more sometimes less.

SCHOOLS: K-5 Walt Tyler
  6-8 Mountain Creek in Somerset
  9-12 Union Mine High School in El Dorado

ROADS: Paved and completed to County specifications. Maintenance, including snow removal is provided by El Dorado County.
WATER: Our own 10 Million gallon reservoir of mountain spring water.
ELECTRICITY: PG&E at standard rates.
GAS: Local Propane Companies.
TELEPHONE: AT&T at standard rates.
DSL broadband internet is available.
GARBAGE: El Dorado Disposal Company at standard rates.
SEWAGE: Septic tank
FIRE DEPT. Pioneer Volunteer Fire Department.
Grizzly Flats first responders.
Hydrants every 500 feet.
POLICE: El Dorado County Sheriff Department. Grizzly Flats neighborhood watch.
BUILDING: No time limit on when you build.

NATURAL FEATURES: Heavily wooded with many streams, rivers and lakes nearby. Borders the El Dorado National Forest with over 800,000 acres.

RECREATION: OHV riding trails, camping, hiking, fishing and horseback riding in the El Dorado National Forest. The Consumnes River is only 3 miles away from Grizzly Park. Winter sports are within 45 miles and Lake Tahoe is less than 65 miles away.

ENJOY: Fresh air, blue skies, peace, seclusion, majestic trees, fun and relaxation right here in Grizzly Park!

A most cordial welcome to Grizzly Park, located in Grizzly Flats, California. It is one of California's most beautiful secluded areas, and one of the largest Gold Producing areas of the Mother Lode Country. At an elevation slightly lower than 4000 feet, it has ideal year round weather - above the valley heat and below the heavy snowfall. Summers rarely see 90 degree days and winters provide just enough snow to look beautiful but not enough to cause road and traffic problems. A gem in El Dorado County, a magnificent four season paradise.

Grizzly Park is home to a delicious piece of California history. Right now you are sitting practically in the middle of the Mother Lode Country. As a matter of fact, the spot where you are sitting was probably a prospector's claim. Take a moment - listen with your imagination. Hear the hiss and clanking? The ghostly echo of shouting and cursing is from the old mule skinner urging another load of rich quartz from the Eagle Mine. Ah, there it is, right on time. That sharp pistol shot you hear is from the California Stage Company's Concord Coach coming into Grizzly Flatss.

Grizzly Flatss - That's over there where you can hear the Rinky-Tink Piano - the husky whisky laughter - the bragging of how much "Pay Dirt" was hauled out last week.

(Excerpt from the book The Golden Highway 49)
Sometime in the summer or fall of 1850 Lyc. L. Ramsey, (died in February 1876,) better known then and since as Buck Ramsey, with a company of prospectors was searching for gold in the mountains between the North and Middle Forks of the Cosumnes river, in the eastern portion of the county. The party were enjoying their evening meal near one of those noble springs that abound in the vicinity, relishing after a hard day's toil, the usual miner's feast of those times - bread, bacon and coffee. The repast was not ended before an unexpected visitor, parting the brush and cracking the dried limbs and leaves under his tread presented himself. He was a magnificent specimen of Sierra's noblest beast - a grizzly bear. His intrusion lasted but a moment. Rapidly, but perfectly self possessed, Buck grasped his rifle, and with a ringing shot sent his majesty tearing through the underbrush, over the flat and down a steep bank where he was subsequently found, a trophy of the skill and coolness of the lamented pioneer. This incident furnished the appropriate name which the village bears. The flat, or undulating ground where this scene occurred, and where the town was soon after located, proved to be rich in gold. Ramsey and his party did not, however, remain, but others soon followed and in the spring of 1851 placer diggings, rich and extensive, were found for miles around, and though distant and somewhat difficult to access, the camp grew in number.

Among the first settlers of the place was Wm. Knox, who located near the Flat in the fall of 1851. Hiram and Eben Odlin about the same time pitched their tent near Steely's Fork, then not named, and after an absence of more than twenty years returned to the scene of their early labors, and engaged in their old avocation - mining.

Grizzly Flats is situated about 21 miles southeast of Placerville, between the two Middle Forks of the Cosumnes river. The North Fork of the Cosumnes, heading well in the Sierra Nevada, lies three miles northwest of the village. Steely's Fork of the same river is but one half mile to the southeast. "String Canyon", one of the richest deposits in the district and probably in the county, heads directly in town and flows 3 miles westerly to join the Cosumnes. In 1852, the ridge leading down from Leak Springs and between the Forks of the Cosumnes was adopted as one of the principal roads by the emigrants of that year. The usual red soil predominates, yielding liberally, as often proved, to miner and farmer both. Grand forests of cedar and sugar pine extend up to the summit.

It was soon found that our golden treasures were not confined to the beds of our rivers and canyons, or to the surface of our flats and the deep breast of our gravel hills. Our quartz veins, like lines of longitude on school maps, traverse the earth throughout the whole region, and many of the most extensive and costly enterprises have been in this branch of mining; that they were not successful or only partially so in the early days, affords no proof, as we can well understand, against their value later.

Among the earliest and most extensive operators in quartz was Victor J. W. Steely. In March, 1852, he discovered and located one of the many ledges in the district, and in the progress of his work erected two mills at different points upon that branch of the Cosumnes that bears his name; from these he built a wooden railroad nearly a mile in length to his mines which laid about three-fourths of a mile southwest of the village. In these improvements he spent large sums of money; he was a man of great energy of character, preserving, and full of hope. All of his own capital, and that of many of his friends and employees were cheerfully and confidently loaned to help the enterprise. But years of trial and industry, which in those days meant experiment, finally ended in failure. The ruin of the old mills on Steely's Fork, the vestiges of the railroads up the mountain side and open cut at Mt. Pleasant were the remaining souvenirs that remind us of Dr. Steely the quartz miner, not only of Grizzly Flats, but El Dorado County and perhaps of the State. Col. Knox also engaged during Steely's time quite extensively in quartz mining, but with the imperfect knowledge of those days with no better success.

In those days quartz mining, with varied results, had been the principal industries of the district. The Eagle Quartz Mine, located the same year as the Steely, was famous in its day for the wealth it poured into the hands of its lucky owners. Much of the reputation which this camp enjoys followed the working of this mine. Among its original owners were Dr. Clark (its discoverer), his nephew Robert Clark, Elijah Kink, Benjamin Joiner, Tuomey and John Cable.

Like the balance of the ledges, work on the Eagle was done principally on the surface. No considerable depth had been attained in that or any of the neighboring mines. The Mount Pleasant had a depth of three hundred feet. Want of faith or want of money - the latter probably - kept these quartz miners in the upper levels, but it was hoped that a better day would dawn. These mines and dozens of other cried aloud for justice - which means that they were tired of mere surface scratching and that their real worth laid deeper.

From 1853 to '57 the fever of quartz mining prevailed, but not to the exclusion of placer or river mining, which held their own in the contest for supremacy. Among other notable mines was the Roberts' lead, struck in 1855 by that man, which proved rich for a season, and work, when it involved cost, was continued. Also, the Valle del Oro, operated in 1867 by Captain Gedge, a southern neighbor of the Mount Pleasant, had a forty stamp mill, hoisting works, etc., erected on the ledge. When work ceased, the mill and other property was sold, carried off and rebuilt twenty miles below, upon a worse mine. So also was Mount Pleasant (originally Steely). This mine, after several years of abandonment, resumed work in 1867, spending three fourths of their capital in the wrong place - on the top instead of under the ground - with only partial success. In March, 1872, it ceased operations. Its extensive improvements - a twenty stamp mill, boiler, engine, steam hoisting works, buildings, stores of every kind - were sold, torn down and moved away. These costly but imperfect and superficial attempts did, perhaps, as much or more harm than good, as the results, if not properly studied, looked like a condemnation of this leading industry of the county.

. The Eagle mine, after five years sleep awakened, and under the management of the intelligent and energetic superintendent, John Treglook, promised to revive its former reputation. Other valuable mines were from time to time discovered and re-opened. The persistent and lucky E. R. Morey, one of Grizzly's oldest and most valued citizens, still operated in the fascinating gamble of quartz mining. His late developments on his lead formerly known as the "Charles", promised what he was entitled to - a golden harvest. Gabe Wentz, another of the old and respected citizens, and Dave Brandover, his partner, had for years been hammering away at a rocky rib at Henry's diggings, three miles south of town. But perhaps the most important discovery in this camp of later years was that made in June, 1874, by that embodiment of every industry and good humor, F. W. Earl. Having prospected for five months in the winter of 1873, frequently uncovering snow several feet in depth to reach the earth, only to meet with a failure (for the whole of the time his means and his patience were both exhausted), he packed his blankets and made for Grizzly Flats. He did not remain idle for a day. Prospecting as supposed, almost against hope, in an abandoned locality near the old Mount Pleasant and Irish lodes he struck a quartz ledge that has since proved itself to be worth anywhere from a hundred thousand to half a million dollars.

Early in 1853 while working the rich surface of Spring Flat, half a mile north of Grizzly, the rivers of the adjacent hills were touched, which paying well led to explorations in the hills themselves. These old riverbeds, which have strangely enough turned to mountains, are known to be the true storehouses of our vast mineral wealth, and yet they have not been fairly tested. The central channels, by tunnel or drift, have never been cut, and they still need the proper attack of industry and capital before they will surrender the rich tribute concealed within their deep bosoms.

The first store established in the place was in 1852 by Chris Nelson, a German. Others soon followed; for awhile Col. Knox was in the business, then A. J. Grahm, Hurlburd, Deal and Weatherwax and others. Since 1858 there were Hulburd, Milleken Bros., Riehl and S. F. Davis, who stayed until 1867. That year D. T. Loofbourrow bought out Davis, the next year Smith and Courson, and in 1869 sold to Alexander, bought back again in 1870 and sold in 1875 to S. P. Haskin, beside which a second store was kept by Nic. Aversine. Two hotels were in the town, one owned by A. C. White, and the other by McClellan. There were also two blacksmith shops. The principal mines in the district were: Mt. Pleasant, Driesbach, Eagle, Spencer & Morey, Eagle King, Bullard, Melton Bros., Ohio extreme of the Mt. Pleasant, and the Arctic, most of which were connected with stamp mills. The Mt. Pleasant was working a 20-stamp mill. There were several small ranches and orchards in this vicinity; those of M. Martin, S. Springer, Fred. Zollers, Stephen Leoni, Samuel Finley, Wm. Cole, John O'Lean, Slook & Smith, A. H. McAfee, August Niebur, S. Webster, A. Myers, Jacob Behrens, George Haas and Bernard Plunker. About 3 miles from town there were two large saw-mills, the property of S. P. Haskin, merchant of Grizzly Flats.

In 1866 the village met with its first calamity, being nearly destroyed by fire, a few houses remained. Little suffering followed, however, as the mines were in the height of their productiveness, and everybody soon recovered their losses. In 1869 the village was again destroyed by fire, and this time the loss was most disastrous, as the place was larger, the houses more costly and a greater amount of personal property contained in them. This fire originated in an outbuilding where a drunken miner was sleeping, and it is supposed his attempts to light some matches during the night and carelessness in extinguishing them, was the immediate cause; his body was discovered next morning. The town was never built to the same extent during the period. Two stone fire-proof buildings only withstood this conflagration.

In 1855 the Catholics were sufficiently numerous to erect a neat and commodious place of worship. Its site was on the side of the hill just east of Grizzly Flats and near the residence of A. H. McAffee, and was the first building to meet the view of the traveler as he entered the village. In 1857 the Methodist church, a handsome edifice, was erected on a lot just at the edge of town. This lot was used as the village burying ground, but owing to the wonderful healthy locality it contains but few graves. The church itself was converted later into a school house. In 1855 the Masons built their commodious hall, and a lodge organized by the appointment of Wm. McKean as Master. Strange as it may seem an Iron Foundry was built in 1855, and for some years did a paying business. The old brewery that furnished beer equal to the best Boca, gladdened the lips of the thirsty about 1854. For many years this town was the residence of Hank Hazard, whose varied attainments as professor of Spanish, German and Chinese, and master of many musical instruments as well as unparalleled teller of strange but true stories most everybody had occasion to admire and appreciate.

In 1856 Kine's and Hereford's saw mills were in full blast. They made but little sunshine however, in the surrounding dense and magnificent forest. The first water ditch brought into the camp was dug by the Eagle Mining Company in 1852 ; Bartlett & Co.'s ditch one year later. Both ditches supplied the mills and mines in the vicinity, and ran water eight or nine months a year. The zenith of prosperity was reached in 1856. At the election in the fall of that year over six hundred votes were polled, and the population probably exceeded twelve hundred.

The first judicial officer was Mr. Clegget, who was elected Justice of the Peace in 1853. He died in Grizzly Flats. Never was a citizen of this place elected to occupy a county office. James H. Watson was elected to the Assembly in 1858. Colonel Knox, for one term, occupied a seat in the Board of Supervisors from this district. From 1855 to 1857 two semi-weekly stage lines were maintained.

Grizzly Flats, like other mining towns, has had its share of changes. It has always been a pleasant place to live, and its citizens possess the usual characteristics of Californians - hospitable, generous and obliging. Little outlawry and but few reckless and desperate characters have flourished at any time in its history. But one murder was ever committed in the place : Hiram Palmer, while drunk, killed an Indian in 1873. A few of the old pioneer citizens lived in the town for some time. Colonel Knox, who grew old slowly, could be seen most of the time reading on his cozy front porch. A. H. McAffee, formerly Justice of the Peace, who knew not what an idle day was, could be sought at his claim. He had been living there since 1852. Jim Marshal, Samuel Stare, Uncle Amon Melton and many others lived here more than twenty years, with the intention never to leave except for a plot on that schoolhouse ground. Of other residents of Grizzly Flats unmentioned yet were Pink Fowler who would not part with his bachelor's homestead for a kingdom; Shippey, Dave Hannah, Antione and Dominic Myers, Frenchmen; Sime Springer, a miracle of good nature, Dennis Gallagher, Jim Bartlett, Uncle Tommy Garland and others.

The patriotism of the young men of Grizzly Flats became electrified before those of any other place, when, in the fall of 1857, the Mormons became troublesome to them. They organized a volunteer company to operate against them, on January 11th, 1858, and elected E. C. Springer captain. A resolution was also adopted at the meeting, requiring the captain to report the company ready for service and for marching to Utah at the shortest notice. The members of this company were called the "Grizzlies".