Among the first Express Companies in Auburn were Gregory’s Express and Hunter & Company. They were followed by Adams & Company and eventually by Wells, Fargo & Company. The express companies provided many services for the miners, they could not only send and receive mail on a regular basis but could transport gold with full insurance coverage. Auburn became the “express center for Placer County.” “The Express men of our town are now reaping a golden harvest. Thousands of dollars worth of dust are bought every week. Upon the rivers, especially, they make heavy purchases every few days.”Placer Herald Nov.12, 1853
In many of the camps and villages, minorities were barely tolerated but in Auburn, there seemed to exist a mood of tolerance. The local Native Americans, while certainly having their way of life disappear, did not themselves disappear. When anti-Chinese sentiment was running high throughout all of California in the 1870s, the Chinese in the communities of Roseville and Rocklin, were run out of town in 1877, literally fleeing for their lives, while Auburn’s Chinese population remained relatively undisturbed.
Auburn, although stripped of its surface gold within months, managed to hang on and avoid the boom and bust cycle of so many other gold camps in northern California due to its location and its position as county seat.
Excerpt from Early Auburn – Images of America by Arcadia Press
By April McDonald-Loomis, John Knox and Art Sommers
See more historical pictures of Auburn here.