In the fall of 1850, a
log cabin comprised the prospective town of Ophir; situated two and a-half miles
below Auburn, on the Auburn. Ravine, which during the succeeding winter grew
into the fair proportions of three or four frame buildings, several log houses
(?) and an indefinite number of tents and canvas coverings. The summer of 1851
nearly skeletonized the little village, but the fall and winter rains
resurrected, or recreated it, and the year 1852 saw it the largest and most
prosperous town in Placer County. The mining was all of placer character, and
very rich ; and money was had almost for the picking it up. The town flourished.
At the Presidential election of that year 500 votes were cast in the precinct.
On the. 12th of July 1852, the whole town was consumed by fire. Al-though great efforts were made, Ophir never recovered from the shock. The surface diggings were deemed nearly worked out, and it was thought she had no other resources. Other points below her on the Auburn Ravine came into notice, and drew away her population and means. She presents now to the eye but the shadow of her former appearance.
A not very distant future may, and not very unlikely will, reinstate Ophir in her former glory. The quartz in the district is rich, and its value is being rapidly developed. Quartz mills are springing up all round the place, and quartz mining promises soon to be the principal business of that section.
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