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Volcano is an unincorporated community in Amador County, California. The town sits at 2,200 feet above sea level and the current population is approximately 85. It is located at 38.4426 N 120.6316 W, just north of Pine Grove. The town is registered as California Historical Landmark #29.

The town is named for its setting in a bowl-shaped valley which early miners thought was caused by a volcano. The early morning fog rising from the valley floor only reinforced that belief. The spot was discovered in 1848 by Colonel Stevenson's men, who mined Soldiers Gulch in 1849. In 1851 a post office was established and by April 1852 there were 300 houses. By 1853 the flats and gulches swarmed with men, and there were 11 stores, 6 hotels, 3 bakeries, and 3 saloons. Hydraulic mining operations, begun in 1855, brought thousands of fortune seekers to form a town of 17 hotels, a library, a theater, and courts of quick justice. During the Civil War, Volcano's gold served the Union Volcano Blues smuggled the cannon "Old Abe" in by hearse to quell rebels.

Although small, Volcano is a town of many "firsts":

1854 First theater group in California

1854 First debating society in California

1854 First circulating library in California

1855 First private schools in California

1855 First private law school in California

1856 First legal hanging in Amador County

1860 First astronomical observatory in California

1978 First solar still in California

The observatory was established by George Madeira and is where the Great Comet of 1861 was discovered (in the U.S.). It is registered as California Historical Landmark #715.

Volcano is also home to Black Chasm Caverns, a National Natural Landmark.

Zip Code 95689


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