Welcome to Downieville


As with most gold rush towns, it wasn’t always fun and games: the first justice of the peace was the local barkeep, and a placard tells the story of the racist mob that hanged a Chicana named Josefa on the town bridge in 1851, the only recorded lynching of a woman in California. The town retains a grisly affection for frontier justice and its ghosts; a reconstructed gallows is across the river, by the civic building.


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