Auburn, California

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Auburn is the county seat of Placer County, California.[2] Its current population is about 13,106. (March 2009) Auburn is known for its California Gold Rush history.[citation needed] One of its most famous citizens was the poet and short-story writer Clark Ashton Smith, who was born in Auburn in 1893 and who lived there most of his life. Born and raised in Auburn, Stacy Dragila was the first to win an Olympic gold medal in women's pole vaulting. Tomas Arana, an actor most notable for his role in Gladiator, was born in Auburn. Also, the town is featured toward the end of British author Anthony Horowitz's book, Nightrise.[3]

Auburn is part of the Greater Sacramento area.



Archaeological finds place the southwestern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Auburn area.[4] Native Americans, the Nisenan, an offshoot of the Maidu, were the first to establish a permanent settlement in the Auburn area.

In the spring of 1849, a group of French gold miners arrived and camped in what would later be known as the Auburn Ravine. This group was on its way to the gold fields in Coloma, California, and it included Francois Gendron, Philibert Courteau, and Claude Chana. The young Chana discovered gold on May 16, 1848. After finding the gold deposits in the soil, this trio decided to stay.

Placer mining in the Auburn area was very good, with the camp first becoming known as the North Fork Dry Diggings. This name was then changed to the Woods Dry Diggings, after John S. Wood settled down, built a cabin, and started to mine in the ravine.

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