Mariposa, California

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Mariposa (formerly Logtown)[2] is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the county seat of Mariposa County, California, United States.[3] The population was 1,373 at the 2000 census. Its name is Spanish and Portuguese for "butterfly", after the flocks of Monarchs seen overwintering there by early explorers.



Mariposa is located at 37°29′06″N 119°57′59″W / 37.485°N 119.96639°W / 37.485; -119.96639,[1] at 1,949 feet (594 m) in elevation. It lies in the rugged foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Mariposa Creek flows through the town.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.3 km²), all of it land.

Mariposa County includes much of Yosemite National Park, and a good deal of the local economy is related to the Park and to tourism. The county courthouse, constructed in 1854, is the oldest in continuous use west of the Rockies. Tours are available.

The county lies at the southern end of the Mother Lode, and Europeans were attracted to Mariposa by gold. During the 19th century California Gold Rush, its streams were panned and deep mines worked the underground veins. At one time John C. Frémont lived here and owned claims to much of the mineral wealth of Mariposa. He later was the first United States Senator from the state, and the first Republican candidate for President.


The town was founded as a mining camp.[2] The original town site was located about 0.5 miles (0.80 km) further downstream.[2] After a flood during the winter of 1849/50, the town was moved to higher ground at a site the miners called Logtown.[2] In time the old name was restored, and the Mariposa post office opened in 1851.[2]

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