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Valley Springs

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In 1885 the San Joaquin and Sierra Nevada Railroad reached Valley Springs, established to mark this terminus (Courtesy Calaveras County Historical Society).

Since the Gold Rush, the West Calaveras area has been Calaveras County’s Gateway to the Mother Lode. From stage stops along the route from Stockton to the San Joaquin & Sierra Nevada Railroad from Lodi that established Wallace, Burson and finally Valley Springs in 1884, the western section of the county has provided access to business and visitors to the Mother Lode.  The area has also boasted its own resources, whether gold in Jenny Lind and Paloma, copper in Campo Seco or agriculture throughout the region.  With Camanche, New Hogan, and Pardee reservoirs, the Tri-Dam area has most recently become a magnet for boating, fishing and camping. Today, while still a rural community, a residential real estate boom has made West Calaveras and Valley Springs a place to go to instead of a place to go through.


By Sal Manna, 2010