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One of the original 27 counties of California, Mariposa County, located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada and containing more than 900,000 acres, once covered one-fifth of the state and was considered the “Mother of California Counties.” First inhabited by several Native American tribes, the land that became Mariposa County saw a flood of miners and other white settlers to the area with the discovery of gold in 1849. The county produced not only $48 million in gold, but also millions in copper, lead, zinc, and chromite, among other minerals. Now home to more than 20,000 residents, as well as most of the famous Yosemite National Park, Mariposa County takes pride in the history that lives in the Gold Rush buildings lining downtown Mariposa and Coulterville’s main streets and still standing in early mining towns like Hornitos and Bear Valley.
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About the Author
Author Leroy Radanovich, a photographer, historian, and longtime resident, has gathered here more than 200 images to illustrate the fascinating history of Mariposa County, paying tribute to its sometimes harsh but always beautiful landscape, its colorful characters, and the stories that make the region unique.