Auburn, California

Auburn is a city in and the county seat of Placer County, California, United States.[11] Its population was 13,330 during the 2010 census. Auburn is known for its California Gold Rush history, and is registered as a California Historical Landmark.[12]

Auburn, California
City of Auburn
Location of Auburn in Placer County, California.
Location of Auburn in Placer County, California.
Auburn is located in California
Location in California
Auburn is located in the United States
Auburn (the United States)
Auburn is located in North America
Auburn (North America)
Coordinates: 38°53′55″N 121°4′28″W / 38.89861°N 121.07444°W / 38.89861; -121.07444Coordinates: 38°53′55″N 121°4′28″W / 38.89861°N 121.07444°W / 38.89861; -121.07444
CountryUnited States
IncorporatedMay 2, 1888[1]
 • TypeCouncil–manager[2]
 • MayorVacant[3]
 • State SenatorBrian Dahle (R)[4]
 • State Assembly[6]Megan Dahle (R) and
Frank Bigelow (R)
 • House of Representatives[7]Doug LaMalfa (R) and
Tom McClintock (R)[5]
 • City7.20 sq mi (18.66 km2)
 • Land7.18 sq mi (18.59 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)  0.38%
Elevation1,227 ft (374 m)
 • City13,330
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,977.85/sq mi (763.64/km2)
 • Metro
est. ~19,500 (including Foresthill, Applegate and Meadow Vista)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific Time Zone)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)530
FIPS code06-03204
GNIS feature IDs1657964, 2409754
U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Auburn, California
Reference no.404

Auburn is part of the Sacramento metropolitan area and is home to the Auburn State Recreation Area, the site of a number of sporting endurance events. Events include the Western States Endurance Run; the Western States Trail Ride, also known as Tevis Cup Equestrian Ride; American River 50 Mile Endurance Run; American River 50 Mile Equestrian Ride; Way Too Cool 50 Kilometer Endurance Run; Auburn International Half Iron Triathlon; Auburn Century 100 Mile Bike Ride; Coolest 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race; Rio Del Lago 100 Mile Endurance Run; Sierra Nevada 50 Mile Endurance Run; and the Coolest Run: Ride & Tie.


Placer County Courthouse was constructed between 1894 and 1898.

Archaeological finds place the southwestern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Auburn area.[13] The indigenous Nisenan, an offshoot of the Maidu, were the first to establish a permanent settlement in the Auburn area.

In the spring of 1848, a group of French gold miners arrived and camped in what would later be known as the Auburn Ravine. This group was on its way to the gold fields in Coloma, California, and it included Francois Gendron, Philibert Courteau, and Claude Chana. The young Chana discovered gold on May 16, 1848. After finding the gold deposits in the soil, the trio decided to stay for more prospecting and mining.

Placer mining in the Auburn area was very good, with the camp first becoming known as the North Fork Dry Diggings. This name was changed to the Woods Dry Diggings, after John S. Wood settled down, built a cabin, and started to mine in the ravine. The area soon developed into a mining camp, and it was officially named Auburn in August 1849. By 1850, the town's population had grown to about 1,500 people, and in 1851, Auburn was chosen as the seat of Placer County. Gold mining operations moved up the ravine to the site of present-day Auburn. In 1865, the Central Pacific Railroad, the western leg of the First Transcontinental Railroad, reached Auburn, as it was being built east from Sacramento toward Ogden, Utah.

The restored Old Town has houses and retail buildings from the middle of the 19th century. The oldest fire station and the Post Office date from the Gold Rush years. Casual gold-mining accessories, as well as American Indian and Chinese artifacts, can also be viewed by visitors at the Placer County Museum. Auburn was the home and birthplace of noted science fiction and fantasy poet and writer Clark Ashton Smith. A memorial to him is located near Old Town.


Auburn is home to Placer High School, which is one of the oldest high schools in California.[14]

Local dentist Kenneth H. Fox's colossal sculptures are located throughout the town. The statues chronicle Auburn's history, such as a middle-aged Claude Chana gold panning in the nearby American River, and a Chinese "coolie" worker building the Transcontinental Railroad.


Rolling hills of Auburn, taken near Indian Hill Road.

Auburn is located at 38°53′55″N 121°04′28″W / 38.898671°N 121.074399°W / 38.898671; -121.074399.[15]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.2 square miles (19 km2), of which 0.03 square miles (0.078 km2), or 0.38%, is water.

Auburn is situated in the Northern California foothills of the Sierra Nevada range, approximately 800 vertical feet above the confluence of the North Fork and Middle Fork of the American River. It is located between Sacramento and Reno, Nevada along Interstate 80. Mountainous wilderness canyons and the western slope of the Sierra Nevada lie adjacent eastward, while gentle rolling foothills well-suited for agriculture lie to the west. The crest of the Sierra Nevada lies approximately 45 miles (72 km) eastward, and the Central Valley lies approximately ten miles to the west.


Auburn has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa) that is characterized by cool, moist winters and hot, dry summers. Average December temperatures are a maximum of 54.4 °F (12.4 °C) and a minimum of 39 °F (4 °C). Average July temperatures are a maximum of 94.0 °F (34.4 °C) and a minimum of 61.0 °F (16.1 °C). Annually, there are an average of 59.4 days with highs of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher, an average of 7.0 days with 100 °F (38 °C) or higher, and an average of 17.1 days with 32 °F (0 °C) or lower.[16] The record high temperature was 113 °F (45 °C) on July 15, 1972. The record low temperature was 16 °F (−9 °C) on December 9, 1972 and December 7, 2009.[16]

Average annual precipitation is 37.36 inches (949 mm). There are an average of 70 days with measurable precipitation. The wettest year was 1983 with 64.87 inches (1,648 mm) and the driest year was 1976 with 11.76 inches (299 mm). The most precipitation in one month was 23.08 inches (586 mm) in January 1909. The most precipitation in 24 hours was 5.41 inches (137 mm) on October 13, 1962,[16] during the Columbus Day Storm. Snow rarely falls in Auburn; average annual snowfall is only 0.0–1.0 inch (0–25 mm).[16] The most snowfall in one year was 10.7 inches (270 mm) in 1972, including 6.5 inches (170 mm) in January 1972.[17]

Auburn's Köppen classification and climate similarities to locations such as Napa, California and parts of Italy make it a suitable region for growing wine grapes. Auburn and the surrounding areas of Placer County are home to over 20 wineries.[18]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201914,195[10]6.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[20]

The 2010 United States Census[21] reported that Auburn had a population of 13,330. The population density was 1,860.2 people per square mile (718.2/km2). The racial makeup of Auburn was 11,863 (89.0%) White, 100 (0.8%) African American, 129 (1.0%) Native American, 240 (1.8%) Asian, 9 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 405 (3.0%) from other races, and 584 (4.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,331 persons (10.0%).

The Census reported that 13,052 people (97.9% of the population) lived in households, 145 (1.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 133 (1.0%) were institutionalized.

There were 5,759 households, out of which 1,502 (26.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 2,613 (45.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 604 (10.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 257 (4.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 352 (6.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 33 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,845 households (32.0%) were made up of individuals, and 801 (13.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27. There were 3,474 families (60.3% of all households); the average family size was 2.85.

The population was spread out, with 2,645 people (19.8%) under the age of 18, 1,031 people (7.7%) aged 18 to 24, 2,898 people (21.7%) aged 25 to 44, 4,224 people (31.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,532 people (19.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.1 males.

There were 6,139 housing units at an average density of 856.7 per square mile (330.8/km2), of which 3,388 (58.8%) were owner-occupied, and 2,371 (41.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.5%. 8,017 people (60.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 5,035 people (37.8%) lived in rental housing units.


Auburn is served by Amtrak passenger rail service a few times a day, and its railroad station is the eastern terminus of AMTRAK's Californian Capitol Corridor train. Interstate Highway 80 is the main east-west highway through this area, connecting Sacramento to the west and the Lake Tahoe/Reno areas to the east. This town can be reached through several interchanges on Interstate 80, three of which (exits 118, 119 A through C, and 120) are somewhat within the town limits. California Highway 49 is the main north-south highway through this area. Highway 49 connects Auburn with the towns of Grass Valley and Nevada City to its north, and Placerville to the south.

The Auburn Municipal Airport is located three miles (5 km) north of town, and it is a general aviation airport, only. Auburn owns and operates this airport and an industrial site. The airport site covers 285 acres (1.15 km2) including an 80-acre (320,000 m2) industrial site. This airport has a single 3,700 ft (1,128 m)-long runway.[22][23] General aviation services are available.[24]

In popular cultureEdit

The Queen Anne style Old Town Firehouse is a landmark. It originally adjoined a row of commercial buildings (now demolished). It was home to the Auburn Volunteer Fire Department.[25]

The following films were, at least in part, shot in Auburn:

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. ^ "City Council - Auburn, CA". City of Auburn, CA. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  3. ^ [1] "City Council Auburn, CA". Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  4. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  5. ^ "California's 4th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  6. ^ "Communities of Interest - City". California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Archived from the original on 2015-10-23. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "Communities of Interest - City". California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Archived from the original on 2013-09-30. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
  8. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  9. ^ "Auburn". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  11. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  12. ^ "Auburn". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
  13. ^ Brauman, Sharon K. (October 6, 2004). "NORTH FORK PETROGLYPHS". Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  14. ^ "Our History - Placer High: Home of the Hillmen". Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  16. ^ a b c d "National Weather Service - NWS Sacramento". July 21, 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  17. ^ "AUBURN, CALIFORNIA - Climate Summary". Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  18. ^ "Wineries and Tours in Gold Country". Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  19. ^ "Auburn, California". Western Regional Climate Center. Desert Research Institute. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  20. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  21. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Auburn city". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  22. ^ City of Auburn. "City of Auburn: Airport and Industrial Park". Archived from the original on September 9, 2009.
  23. ^ City of Auburn. "City of Auburn: About the Airport". Archived from the original on September 9, 2009.
  24. ^ City of Auburn. "City of Auburn: Airport Services". Archived from the original on September 9, 2009.
  25. ^ Old Town Firehouse, Auburn Chamber of Commerce, Accessed August 1, 2009. Archived August 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ a b c d e f g "Placer Tahoe Film Office - Shot in Placer County". Archived from the original on 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2009-02-14.
  27. ^ Staff (2019-01-06). "Movies Filmed in Placer County". Rocklin and Roseville Today. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  28. ^ Heavilin, Barbara A. (2005). John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men: A Reference Guide. Praeger Publishers. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-313-33056-8.
  29. ^ History of Placer County, California, page 320, 1887, Thompson & West, Placer County, California
  30. ^ Blake, Janet (2012). ""In Love with Painting": The Life and Art of Clarence Hinkle". Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  31. ^ "Brothers". Auburn Journal. 1987-12-27. pp. 19, C1. Retrieved 2020-07-24. George, a native of Los Angeles, lived with his family in Auburn intermittently between 1971 and 1975.
  32. ^ Thomson, Gus (2019-02-01). "New film for Auburn's "Poet Smith'". Gold Country Media. Retrieved 2020-07-24.
  33. ^ Ikeda, Tom (2011-03-16). "Paul Takagi Interview". Densho Digital Archive, Densho Visual History Collection. Retrieved 2020-07-24.
  34. ^ "'Auburn Police Officer alleged serial killer'".

External linksEdit