My parents live in a funny little town 3 hours east of San Francisco. Columbia, CA, is an old gold mining town and is still very reminiscent of the golden olden days. The first person struck gold in Columbia in 1850. Throughout the next handful of years, Columbia yielded $87 million in gold at 1860's prices!!
Throughout the years, Columbia has never been completely deserted, unlike many other settlement towns. Through the years it has retained much the same appearance. It's now a quaint little town for tourists, school kids on field trips, and about 200 residents. My parents live about 2 blocks away from Main Street. It's such a great little town to have a toddler, too! We go on stagecoach rides, feed the chickens, and go bowling (old school, where you have to set up the pins!). When he's bigger he'll be able to pan for gold and drink in the local saloons.
Here are a few photos from a recent visit. The first photo is Columbia, second is a shop in Sonora (Tar Flat Antiques/Wright Sisters... they keep changing names), and third is Murphys.
For more on Columbia, check out their site.
A few additional pics of Columbia: Daily Kid Pic