Foresthill Heritage

The Foresthill area is one of the earliest explored areas of the California Gold Rush, and in fact Foresthill became a town in 1850 due to mining in the area. Today, hundreds of mines, some still active, are found throughout the area. The archaeological record for human activity goes back thousands of years, and many prehistoric sites show evidence of Native American habitation long before whites settled in the area.


After the gold played out many Foresthill settlers turned to logging the tall trees that cover the Divide and a dozen lumber mills were established in and around Foresthill. The harvesting of timber, just like the gold, eventually became too costly to pursue and the mills were closed, causing many of the residents to seek employment off the hill in nearby Auburn and even Sacramento.


Foresthill, however, was not “down-and-out”. With the wonderful outdoor recreational opportunities of the Tahoe National Forest, beautiful lakes and snow covered mountains, and the improvement of Foresthill Road during the 1990’s by the Federal Government, people seem to have rediscovered the Foresthill Divide.

Life 'On the Hill'

Land values are on the rise, beautiful new homes are springing up throughout the woods, and the new Foresthill High School makes K thru 12 education a unique mountain-top experience.

The Chamber of Commerce is proud to promote the Foresthill Divide as a place with:

“A Proud Heritage & A Bright Future”.

The Forest Hill Divide Historical Society

The Forest Hill Divide Museum on Harrison Street offers many displays that give visitors a good idea of life on the Divide in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Winter Hours are the 1st and 3rd Saturdays from Noon to 4:00 p.m.

The museum is regularly open May thru September,  Saturdays and Sundays Noon to 4:00 p.m. with a working Smithy Shop every Saturday!

Ol' Joe - Wells Fargo Stage Coach Horse Memorial

On the 110-year anniversary of Ol' Joe being shot by robbers on July 3, 1901, historian Dennis Clifford and resident Shante' Warlick were interviewed by NPR radio reporter Cindy Carpen for the series "Honey, Stop the Car!".

Listen to the NPR Interview

Iowa Hill Gold Rush Town History

It was May 1902 when Lyman Gilmore Jr. flew his first airplane at Big Meadows California, nineteen months before the Wright Brothers flight at Kitty Hawk. The man who made that incredible flight easily rates the title of America's most neglected genius. Lyman also owned the Gilmore gold mine in Iowa Hill.

On February 4th, 1951 Layman had a heart attack, While in the hospital attendants cut off his long beard and hair. He was also very much upset when he discovered that they had burned the old long coat he always wore. Understandably so. There was $15,000 sewed in the lining.

Learn more about the rich history of Iowa Hill at their website which reflects the rich life of Iowa Hill in pictures and stories dating back to the gold rush days and beyond.

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Contact the Chamber

Phone: (530) 367-2474
Email: foresthillchamber@sebastiancorp.net

Foresthill Divide Chamber of Commerce

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