Rare birdseye view of Auburn, California, including 22 smaller views and a map showing Placer County's Railroad Connections to Sacramento and San Francisco.
This fine view illustrates one of the important early California Gold Rush boom towns.
The map notes: "Compliments of W.B. Lardner, Real Estate Agent, Att'y-at-Law & Notary Public, Auburn, Placer Co. Cal." William Branson Lardner (1850- 1927) was born in Niles, Michigan. He obtained is B.A. from Cornell College in Iowa in 1875 and his law degree from Iowa State University in 1877. Lardner moved to Auburn in 1877, and served as Placer County District Attorney from 1880 to 1883, member of the California State legistature in 1900-01 and State Senator for Placer and El Dorado Counties in 1902-05.
In the spring of 1848, a group of French gold miners arrived in the area of the town of Auburn and camped in what would later be known as the Auburn Ravine. The party was on their way to the gold fields in Coloma, California, and included Francois Gendron, Philibert Courteau and Claude Chana. It was the young Chana who discovered gold on May 16, 1848. After finding the gold deposits in the soil, the party decided to stay.
Placer mining in the area was very good, with the camp first becoming known as North Fork Dry Diggings. The name was then changed to Woods Dry Diggings, after John S. Wood settled down, built a cabin, and started to mine the ravine. The area quickly developed into a well established mining camp, officially becoming known as Auburn in August, 1849. By 1850 the population had grown to about 1500, and Auburn became the seat of Placer County in 1851. Future mining operations would move up the ravine to the site of present day Auburn. In 1865, the Central Pacific Railroad, the Western portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad, reached Auburn as it was being built East from Sacramento.
W.B. Lardner was appointed a Court Commissioner for Placer County in 1878 and the family apparently had a long history in the town, with an architectural firm of the same name participating in the restoration of the old courthouse in 1980.