A walk down Main Street in Historic Jamestown is a step back in time. You'll see a mixture of buildings from
different eras. Wooden buildings dating from the winding down of the Gold Rush. Stone buildings with iron shutters from about the same time designed to withstand the fires that were
common at that time.
Wooden buildings in the Victorian style from the turn into the 20th century.
You can dine at the Willow Steak House (established 1864), where the builders of the Sierra
Railway once hung out in the bar. You can have lunch or ice cream at Here's the Scoop, with its old-style decor including
a bar that came from a historic San Francisco saloon.
There are gift shops and antique and collectible stores, with many items made locally.
In the small Victorian-era park there is the Jamestown Branch Jail, built in 1898 and very
recently moved back to Jamestown and restored (See photo below).
Several historic hotels can be found along the street, including the Royal Carriage Inn,
the National Hotel, and the Jamestown Hotel.
A variety of restaurants can be found downtown, including traditional food, Mexican, Italian,
Chinese, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, ice cream, and expresso.
Gold Rush History
New book on the History of Jamestown, by Judith Marvin and Terry Brejla. Now available at
In the early summer of 1848a few months after the famous discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill near
Sacramento that started the Gold Rushan Oregon man named Benjamin Wood discovered the first gold in the area in what
is now known as Woods Creek. The discovery site is about 1 mile west of what is today downtown Jamestown.
It seemed that everyone then in California who could came to the Sierra foothills seeking gold. Woods Creek became
crowded with miners seeking nuggets and flakes. Many were successful in that first year.
The National Hotel & Restaurant
This historic hotel—established 1859— is in the heart of the gold country, located near Yosemite and numerous outdoor activities. The 1800's authentic decor will take you back to a more simple and romantic time, while the warm and congenial staff will tend to all your needs. Our acclaimed restaurant and original saloon offer a delight of menu options and an extensive Gold Country wine list. For more information visit us at www.national-hotel.com
Events in Jamestown
(Events are courtesy of the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau)
A few blocks east of the historic downtown area is the state park Railtown 1897.
This park has preserved much of the Sierra Railway, built in 1897 to link the then very isolated area to Oakdale and the
rest of the rail network. The line carried lumber from sawmills in Tuolumne City and Standard to the outside world.
It also carried quartz ore to processing plants in the Bay Area that extracted the gold.
You can explore the grounds. We particularly recommend the tour of the roundhouse.
On weekends April-Oct you can ride the steam train on a 40-minute ride that will take you west to the Rock Quarry.