Located 27 miles southeast of Placerville, between the North and Middle Forks of the Consumnes River in a rough and wooded terrain, Grizzly Flats lies at 4,000 feet elevation.
The town was named by L.L. “Buck” Ramsey who arrived in 1850 to prospect for gold. While he and couple other men set up camp in a springy marsh they encountered a grizzly bear.
The town grew quickly as gold was discovered and the first post office opened on August 31, 1855. While many men came for gold they stayed for “green gold” and Grizzly Flat was central to a prosperous logging industry. By 1857 there were two saw mills in operation. A schoolhouse, Mountain School, was constructed in 1858.
At its height Grizzly Flat boasted 5 stores and numerous hotels including the Oriental kept by a Mrs. Bond, Miner’s Home kept by a Mr. Watkins, the Grizzly Flat House and the Orleans Hotel which was advertised in the Mountain Democrat Newspaper in 1857: Guests “…will find the best accommodations at the Orleans Hotel. The house is new and well furnished, and the proprietors Misters Watkins and Tafton, are clever gentlemen and will spare no pains to make their guests comfortable and happy.”
In 1880 the town had a population of 837 persons: 683 “whites”, 10 “negroes”, 65 “Indians”, and 79 “Chinamen”.
Today the town of Grizzly Flat is a small mountain community. Only a few buildings from the boom time stand today.