Carbondale, Orange County, California

Carbondale, in Orange County, California, is a historical coal mining town in Santiago Canyon, where Santiago Creek had its confluence with Silverado Creek in Silverado, California. It had a post office from May 11, 1881, to January 29, 1884, when it was closed and mail sent to the Santa Ana post office.[1][2]

Carbondale, Orange County, California is located in California
Carbondale, Orange County, California
Location of Carbondale in California
LocationSilverado, California
Coordinates33°44′41″N 117°39′22″W / 33.744666666°N 117.65609722°W / 33.744666666; -117.65609722Coordinates: 33°44′41″N 117°39′22″W / 33.744666666°N 117.65609722°W / 33.744666666; -117.65609722
ArchitectSouthern Pacific
DesignatedJune 20, 1935
Reference no.228

Coal was discovered near Santiago Creek in 1878. A coal mine was established there, called the Santa Clara. In 1881, the Southern Pacific took over the Santa Clara Coal Mine, and a mining camp, Carbondale, with a post office was established on the flat near the creek. Besides the post office, it had a hotel, saloons, a store, and shacks for the miners. Carbondale became the post office for Silverado after its post office was closed on January 22, 1883.[1] When the coal was depleted, the coal mine was closed down in 1884. Carbondale's post office closed, and its buildings and equipment were removed, leaving few other remains.

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The site is marked as California State Historical Landmark No. 228 by a plaque located at the Silverado Community Church entrance on Silverado Canyon Rd., 1.1 mi W of the Silverado post office. It is also marked as Orange County Historical Site No. 1 by a plaque located at 8002 Silverado Canyon Rd., Silverado.[3][4]

The marker at the site reads:

  • 'In 1881, after the Southern Pacific took over the Santa Clara Coal Mine northeast of here, a bustling mining camp complete with hotel, saloons, shacks, store, and post office sprang up on these flats. Three years later the mine played out and Carbondale disappeared without a trace. Erected 1976 by Orange County Board of Supervisors and Orange County Historical Commission. (Marker Number 01, CA 228.)[5]


  1. ^ a b Frickstad, Walter N., A Century of California Post Offices 1848–1954, Oakland, CA: Philatelic Research Society, 1955, pp. 115–126.
  2. ^ USGS Map Name: Black Star Canyon, CA Map Center: N33° 45' 12" W117° 40' 38" from accessed on 4/20/2013
  4. ^ California State Historical Landmarks in Orange County Archived May 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Marker Number 228