The town of Mariposa was founded, in 1849, as a mining camp on the banks of a seasonal stream known as the “Mariposa River”, as depicted on early maps of the region, the southern Mother Load region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Mariposa, as a town, occupies and unique place in American history. The discovery of gold sparked a “rush” that transformed the Mother Lode region of the Sierra Mountains and California. The Town of Mariposa, it’s early gold-seeking explorers and settlers, it’s civic and business leaders all played important roles in the formation and organization of the State of California, but operated on a national stage as well. Famous names in history, like John and Jessie Fremont, Kit Carson, Joaquin Murieta, and many others, all played a profound role in the story of the “Old West” in the early days of the “Manifest Destiny” period up to and following the American Civil War. Our history is on display, not only in the Mariposa History Center but throughout the community in its buildings and structures.
- Music & Culture
- Mountain Folks/Community Culture
- Mariposa This & That with Carol Dewey
- Mariposa County Government
- Natural History and the Environment
- Technology & Science
- Old Town Mariposa
- Women of Mariposa-Building Success
- What’s Up in Old Town Mariposa
A major portion of the community, known as “Old Town Mariposa” is on the National Register of Historic Places as a “Historic District”. The old 1854 wooden Mariposa Courthouse is on the National Register of “Historic Places”. Throughout the community are houses and buildings that provide some insight into the history of the Town of Mariposa and the people who built it.