Dutch Flat Tourist Attractions
Placer CountyLocation and originThe name Dutch Flat derives from the "Dutch" which has been introduced into America as a phonetic form of "Deutsch" (German), but has no connection at all with the English word "Dutch". Today it is a forgotten former gold-mining town near the U.S. 80, some 18mi/30km northeast of Auburn. It was founded in 1851 by German immigrants, the brothers Carl and Josef Dornbach.Countless adventurers streamed to Dutch Flat, which developed into one of the richest gold-mining towns in the whole of the state and provided a home for one-tenth of the inhabitants of the whole of Placer County. In addition, some 2,000 Chinese settled here to assist in digging for gold, initially as paid workers, but rapidly becoming almost slaves. The advertisements in the newspaper of the time, the "Dutch Flat Enquirer", show that at the beginning of the 1860s there were seven grocers' shops, three smithies, two banks, eight gents' clothiers, three hotels, a chemist, a Freemasons' lodge and an Oddfellows' lodge.The town todayToday little remains of all that, even though Dutch Flat is not a ghost town in the true sense of the word. Nevertheless, thanks to the commitment of the village council, something of the original charm has been preserved; today men still search for gold in the nearby rivers with some success; a small museum has been set up in the village; at present, the only hotel still standing, albeit empty, is being renovated; the old chemists' shop has been changed into an antique shop, and the Freemasons' and Oddfellows' lodges still exist - the latter in a house built in 1854 by the Hanoverian J. K. Hüdepohl.Places like this are seldom found in California today. The authentic features of Dutch Flat have been preserved mainly because here, unlike so many other gold-mining towns, there has never been a major fire.Not far from Dutch Flat, on the U.S. 80, lies a town called Weimar which got its name not from the German town of the same name, but from the Indian chief Weimah who lived nearby. In 1886, some 30 years later and for no obvious reason, it was changed to Weimar.