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Woodfords, California is an unincorporated community in Alpine County, near Markleeville. For census purposes, it is included in Alpine Village, but residents consider it a separate entity. It is located at 38.77778 N 119.82083 W.

Woodfords holds title as the oldest non-native settlement in the entire region. Mormon Battalion member Sam Brannan left supplies near a spring here in 1847 on his way to Salt Lake City, and Brannan Springs, as it was then called, was ideally positioned to take advantage of traffic on the booming road to California.

After a brief period during which the settlement was known as Carey's Mills, the Woodfords name came into common usage following the establishment of an official post office near a hotel by Daniel Woodford in 1849. Today, Woodfords continues to serve highway travelers, and is home to about 150 full time residents, while the Southern band of the Washo tribe has a small community in nearby Diamond Valley.

Woodfords became a remount station of the Pony Express on April 4, 1860, when Warren Upson scaled the mountains in a blinding snowstorm and made his way down the eastern slope of the Sierra on his way to Carson City. Five weeks later the Pony Express was rerouted by way of Echo Summit and Luther Pass. The remount station is now California Historical Landmark #805.

Zip Code 96120


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