The tiny mining town of Coulterville lies among the rugged foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, in a widening of one of the many narrow winding canyons. Grass, patches of brush, and scattered deciduous trees cover the hilly slopes. A few narrow streets, scattered houses, and a row of old-time shops make up the town. The historic, multi-story Hotel Jeffery, sitting at the main intersection of town, is the centerpiece.
While miners sought gold on the hillsides in the days of the California Gold Rush, George W. Coulter opened a store and hotel here. Operating at first from a tent in 1850, buildings were soon built as the town grew. Coulter flew the American flag on his tent, prompting Mexicans in the area to call the place Bandereta, (Spanish for small flag). The post office was established in 1853 under the name of Maxwell's Creek, which was changed a year later to Coulterville.
Maxwell Creek flows past the town and into Lake McClure a few miles to the east. Lake McClure is a large reservoir on the Merced River, which has its origins in nearby Yosemite National Park. The hills surrounding Coulterville are covered in forests of a variety deciduous trees and patches of grass.
California Highway 49 passes through the city north and south, and California Highway 132 ends at Coulterville, after climbing into the mountains from Modesto in the San Joaquin Valley. Several other roads wander through the hills, connecting to ranches, abandoned mines and other old mining towns. The population is 201 at the 2010 census, and the elevation ranges from 1,675 to 1,800 feet.
For More Information:
See the Coulterville article on Wikipedia.
Chinatown Main Street
Greeley Hill Road|
Oak Ridge Road|
State Highway 132
State Highway 49