More About California’s Oldest Campground

Growth Hazard– With water for large scale mining, Columbia’s population soared to about 15,000 by 1852. Arriving families established schools, churches and over 100 businesses. This made Columbia a solid and significant town. However, the constant inflow of new arrivals continually outpaced the town’s ability to provide basic needs of food and housing.

The Dairy Road – Travel this trail in 1852, to meet a family of dairy farmers from Kentucky. Having brought cows with them, they recognized a better opportunity for profit. That of trading dairy products for gold rather than competing with the existing horde of gold prospectors. Business owners referred to this as mining the miners. They acquired land along this historic trail for a dairy ranch that became known as the ‘Columbia Springs Ranch’ after the near by Indian Village springs.

California’s Oldest Campground – Additionally, this ranch benefited from a housing shortage by providing camping for a continuing overflow of arriving covered wagons. The campground helped the ranch increase its dairy herd with cows campers were willing to trade for food and a hospitable place to camp while prospecting for gold.