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Introducing Volcano

Volcano spewed forth gold in such quantities that in 1848 the average miner was making $100 a day. It shot its wad early though, and by 1865 the mines were played out and the town was tapped out. Today it is a rural aerie which slumbers away in lovely solitude, especially on weekdays.

Hand-painted signs outside the buildings give amusing insights into Volcano’s colorful past. The town lays claim to the first astronomical observation site, the first private law school and the first library in California. Large sandstone rocks line Sutter Creek, which runs through the center of town. The rocks, now flanked by picnic tables, were blasted from surrounding hills by hydraulic processes, then scraped clean of gold-bearing dirt. Nearby monuments attest to Volcano’s boastful past.

The 12-mile drive from Sutter Creek is along lovely Sutter Creek Rd.