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Plumas County

Trip Planner USA  /  California  /  Plumas County
Plumas County is a county located in the Sierra Nevada of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,007. The county seat is Quincy, and the only incorporated city is Portola. The county gets its name from the Spanish words for the Feather River (Río de las Plumas), which flows through the county.HistoryPrior to the California Gold Rush of 1849, the Mountain Maidu were the primary inhabitants of the area now known as Plumas County. The Maidu lived in small settlements along the edges of valleys, subsisting on roots, acorns, grasses, seeds, and occasionally fish and big game. There was no official tribal leadership and most groups remained in and around their own valleys. Areas with high snowfall, including Mohawk and Sierra Valleys, provided hunting grounds in the warmer months.Life quickly changed for the Mountain Maidu, however, when gold was discovered in the Sierra foothills in 1848. Miners were attracted to Plumas County in particular largely due to the wild tales of a man named Thomas Stoddard, whose claims of stumbling onto a lake lined with gold nuggets while lost in the wilderness attracted gold hungry prospectors to the area. Though hopeful miners scoured the glacial lakes of what is now Lakes Basin Recreation Area for months, they could not find the alleged lake of gold. However, some of them did have success in the rivers and creeks in the area, which led to the development of many of Plumas County’s first non-Indian settlements.
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