Columbia in Tuolumne County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Water, Precious as Gold
Columbia’s Biggest Challenge
Every aspect of Columbia’sdevelopment depended on water. Without it, mining could not continue and the town could have died. In the early days of Columbia, fights broke out because of the short supply of water. To resolve the problem (and make money) the Tuolumne County Water Company used out-of-work miners to build a massive system of flumes and ditches. After its completion in 1852, a constant supply of water flowed from the high Sierra to Columbia, allowing for year-round mining.
With a dependable water source, Columbia grew from a rough mining camp into a substantial town. Water helped to protect structures from devastating fires and supplied the area’s homes and gardens. Today many residents continue to receive water from the historic ditch system.
Location. 38° 2.13′ N, 120° 24.059′ W. Marker is in Columbia, California, in Tuolumne County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Main Street and Jackson Street, on the right when traveling south. This marker is located in a small park within Columbia State Historic Park. Touch for map Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wilson/McConnell House (within shouting distance of this marker); Bixel Brewery (within shouting distance of this marker); A Bountiful Place to Live (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Burns Cottage (about 300 feet away); Claverie Building (about 400 feet away); James Wood Coffroth (about 500 feet away); A Home for Immigrants (about 500 feet away); A Cosmopolitan Society (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Natural Resources • Waterways & Vessels •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 8, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 401 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 8, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.