NAME: Timbuctoo
GRID #(see map): 1
CLIMATE: Cool winter, warm summer
COMMENTS: Just west of Grass Valley on Highway 20, Semi-ghost.
REMAINS: Many original remnants.
There was a time when people used the word Timbuctoo to describe some unknown place far, far away, like "From here to Timbuctoo," not having the remotest idea if there was a "Timbuctoo" and if there was where it was. There actually is a Timbuctoo and it is a town on highway 20, west of Grass Valley where highway 49 intersects highway 20. It was in 1850 that the first miners started to pan along the Yuba at what was to be known as Timbuctoo. Included in the party of miners was a black, a refugee slave from the South. Slavers had brought him to America from West Africa. His hometown was Timbukto. He was a hard worker and when he discovered the yellow metal in his pan, he asked his fellow miners if he could call the place Timbuktu. They agreed and the town had a name with some American changes in spelling. The town grew steadily until it became home to 1200 people. After panning, hydraulic mining was the way to go until the Sawyer decision in 1884 put a stop to this method of mining. And with it, the town became a ghost town. There is one remaining stone building left Timbuctoo. Submitted by Henry Chenowith.

Timbuctoo in 1856
Courtesy Chris Geigle

Timbuctoo Drawing
Courtesy Chris Geigle