Yuba County History

Early Historical Sketch of the City of Marysville and Yuba County by H. S. Hoblitzell, 1876

Early History of Yuba River Valleby George Emmanuel Hanson, 1919

History of Marysville Marysville Daily Appeal - May 10, 1905, page 4

History of the Life of Stephen J. Field Hubert Howe Bancroft, 1891

History of Yuba County Thompson & West, 1879

Memories; my seventy-two years in the romantic county of Yuba, California W. T. Ellis

Personal reminiscences of early days in California, with other sketches. Stephen J. Field.

Town of Marysville  Marysville Herald, August 1850


Long before the European and Eastern U.S. Immigrants, and long before the Spanish, the Maidu Native Peoples (Mountain Maidu, Konkow, Nisenan) inhabited this region.  They were a gentle and hard-working people, pushed out of their homes,  and eventually all but destroyed by the forward march of "progress" before the County was even formed.  From tens of thousands, they were reduced to a mere handful in comparison.   "River of Sorrows" by Richard Burrill (ISBN 0-87961-187-1) narrates much about them in a story-telling fashion, providing a viewpoint different than that written by Thompson & West .   

Many other cultures were represented here in the early formation of Yuba County - and continue to be a part of the community.  I am looking for reference books that give each of their viewpoints and versions pertaining to the pioneer era.  If you know of any, please let me know so that I may add them to this page!

Yuba County was one of the original 27 counties in California.  The county name is said to have come from the local Maidu native peoples who lived on the banks of what is now known as the Feather & Yuba Rivers - or by Gabriel Moraga who used the Spanish name for wild grapes growing abundantly at the river's edge. Many variations and origins of the name "Yuba" are noted.

Parts of the original County were divided into separate Counties in the early years.  On April 25, 1851, portions of Yuba County became Nevada and Placer.  Next, Sierra County was formed on April 16, 1852.

Marysville was considered one of the three largest cities in California.  It was also the second incorporated city in the State.  The population was based primarily on the gold mining, as well as it being an early port for ships to trade goods and transport passengers.  The businesses traded heavily with San Francisco, and many liked it's close proximity to the Sierra Nevada's, the excellent land for growing crops and raising stock, as well as the abundance and variety of available land.  When the levees were built, it essentially closed off the City from exceeding its early growth patterns.  When the rivers filled with tailings from mining and flood debris, it no longer was a major port for trade, as ships found it impassable.  Today, it is known more for it's historic buildings, affordable housing, and that "small town" feeling.

Across the river, and closely tied to Marysville, is Yuba City in Sutter County.  The two towns have much in common.  In the earlier years, many of the professionals from Yuba County would also work or serve the public in Sutter County.  Over time, this developed into the common reference of this area as being Yuba-Sutter. 

The Spanish are the first documented immigrants.  Hudson Bay Company trappers occasionally crossed the region from 1830-1841. In the 1840's a branch of the old emigrant trail crossed over Donner Pass, down the mountain to Johnson's Ranch located on the Bear River approximately three miles east of where Bear River now stands. 

With the discovery of Gold in the area, thousands came to seek their fortune...

Kathy -  


Copyright 2003  Kathy Sedler   ALL RIGHTS RESERVED