Tuolumne County, California

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Tuolumne County (pronounced /tuːˈɒləmiː/ "To All o' Me", with a silent N) is a county located in the Sierra Nevada of the U.S. state of California. The northern half of Yosemite National Park is located in the eastern part of the county. As of 2000 the population was 54,501. The county seat is Sonora, the county's only incorporated city.



Tuolumne County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. Prior to statehood, it had been referred to as Oro County. Parts of the county were given to Stanislaus County in 1854 and to Alpine County in 1864.

The name Tuolumne is of Native American origin and has been given different meanings, such as Many Stone Houses, The Land of Mountain Lions and, Straight Up Steep, the latter an interpretation of William Fuller, a native Chief. Mariano Vallejo, in his report to the first California State Legislature, said that the word is "a corruption of the Indian word talmalamne which signifies 'cluster of stone wigwams.'" The name may mean "people who dwell in stone houses," i.e., in caves.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,274 square miles (5,891 km²), of which 2,235 square miles (5,790 km²) is land and 39 square miles (101 km²) (1.71%) is water. A California Department of Forestry document reports Tuolumne County's 1,030,812 acres (4,171.55 km2) include federal lands such as Yosemite National Park, Stanislaus National Forest, Bureau of Land Management lands, and Indian reservations. Notable landforms in the county include Table Mountain.

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