Article: Dazzling Auburn Ca Invites You To The Past Within The Present
Remember those days when you could go to the post office and you were more than just a number? Those special days when most of your communication took place face to face? Whilst the rest of the world is nowadays living in a secluded lifestyle, Auburn kept some of those personal treasures.
As we had to send some mail abroad our first stop was at the Post Office. You don’t often get the chance to post something at an historic post office that is still operating.
After researching online the opening hours, it was most surprising to see a sign inside at the wooden counter stating that it was temporary closed.
When we returned at the times stated on the sign, we found a sweet woman behind the counter and a man who was talking to her. He just emptied his letter box and they talked about his mail which included magazines and other stuff. The man left and now it was our turn for a little chat. We handed our mail to the woman. The postage wasn’t simply printed on the envelopes. There was actually nothing electronic visible inside of the post office. The stamps were torn out of a book and carefully applied by hand. After a few minutes another woman came in and even joined the conversation. You could have spent hours there.
The post office is positioned in the centre of the old town on the corner of Lincoln Way and Sacramento Street. It is the perfect point to start your exploration of the Old Town. Auburn certainly is an old city, it was established in 1849. In 1848, the French man called Claude Chana found gold in the Auburn area leaving the area populated even in the height of the hot summer months. Chana’s discovery is commemorated in Chana Park in which you can see a big stone statue of a gold miner panning for gold.
The most interesting building is the old firehouse. It was built in 1891 and it doesn’t really seem like a firehouse and looks more like lighthouse.
Whilst visiting the Old Town of Auburn, you can even enter quite a few of those historical houses along the streets. This really shows you how the city combines old with new. The buildings have been transformed and are now used by local restaurants and retailers. You can buy clothes, art, wine, antiques and other interesting stuff from the retailers.
Up on a little hill, overlooking the Old Town of Auburn is the Placer County Courthouse. The historical building stands on some concrete structure with two big staircases on the sides of it. On top of the structure are the walls with yellow coloured stones and the crown of the building is a little dome. It also houses an admission free museum. A visit to the museum won’t take you too long. Inside you can learn about the Placer County History and see the Old Sheriff’s Office and a jail. As the Placer County Courthouse is also still operating as a courthouse, be prepared for a security screening.
Another cute little admission free museum is the Gold Country Museum located in the vicinity of the Old Town. The museum offers displays of the lives of the gold miners. Amongst others, there is a display of an old saloon and you can even see the insides of an old miner’s cabin with a fireplace, a wooden desk and two bunk beds. If you don’t have time to go gold panning in the gold mining country, you can even do some panning there.
Auburn is perfect for a half-day or even full day visit. The town and the people take you right back to the past within the present.
Directions to Auburn in California:
From San Francisco and Sacramento the direct way is by driving along the I-80 east towards Reno. (Drive from San Francisco to Auburn is about 2 hours and from Sacramento to Auburn it takes approximately 40 minutes by car).
From Placerville you head north along the highway 49 (drive takes about 50 minutes)
Placer County Museum:
Address: 101 Maple St. Auburn, CA 95603, United States of America
Opening hours (except holidays): Daily from 10:00am till 04:00pm
Entrance fees: Free
Gold Country Museum:
Address: Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High Street, Auburn, CA 95603 , USA (inside the Fairgrounds at the end on the right).
Opening hours (except holidays): Tue to Sun from 11:00am till 04:00pm
Entrance fee: Free
Parking spaces are available at Placer County Courthouse and on your left half-way as you drive down the Lincoln Way from the Courthouse to the post office.
Where to stay:
We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Auburn in California. You can reach the Old Town of Auburn by foot in less than 15 minutes and by car in about 5 minutes.
The hotel immediately made us feel at home. Everything was clean, it had a lovely pool inside the small hotel square and a good gym with some workout machines. The food in the restaurant was good and we particularly liked those cute miniature sized cake slices.
Address of the Holiday Inn in Auburn, CA: 120 Grass Valley Highway, Auburn, CA 95603, USA