Amador County, California
"The Heart of the Mother Lode"
|Incorporated||May 1, 1854|
|Named for||José María Amador|
|Largest city||Ione (population and area)|
|• Chair||Jeff Brown|
|• Vice Chair||Linda Rianda|
|• County Administrative Officer||Chuck Iley|
|• Total||606 sq mi (1,570 km2)|
|• Land||595 sq mi (1,540 km2)|
|• Water||11.4 sq mi (30 km2)|
|Highest elevation||9,414 ft (2,869 m)|
|• Density||67/sq mi (26/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (Pacific Time Zone)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (Pacific Daylight Time)|
|GNIS feature ID||1675841|
Amador County ( // ( listen )) is a county located in the U.S. state of California, in the Sierra Nevada. As of the 2020 census, the population was 40,474. The county seat is Jackson. Amador County, located within California's Gold Country, is known as "The Heart of the Mother Lode". There is a substantial viticultural industry in the county.
Amador County was created by the California Legislature on May 11, 1854, from parts of Calaveras and El Dorado counties.It was organized on July 3, 1854. In 1864, part of the county's territory was given to Alpine County.
The county is named for José María Amador, a soldier, rancher, and miner, born in San Francisco in 1794,the son of Sergeant Pedro Amador (a Spanish soldier who settled in California in 1771) and younger brother to Sinforosa Amador.
In 1848, Jose Maria Amador, with several Native Americans, established a successful gold mining camp near the present town of Amador City. In Spanish, the word amador means "one who loves". Some of the Mother Lode's most successful gold mines were located in Amador County, including the Kennedy, Argonaut, and Keystone.
There are numerous gold mines in Amador County including the Argonaut Mine, the Kennedy Mine, the Central Eureka, and the Lincoln. The Kennedy Mine in Jackson was the deepest gold mine of its time. The federal government closed all of the Mother Lode's mines in 1942 because they were considered non-essential to the war effort.[ citation needed ]
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 606 square miles (1,570 km2), of which 595 square miles (1,540 km2) is land and 11.4 square miles (30 km2) (1.9%) is water. It is the fifth-smallest county in California by land area and second-smallest by total area. Water bodies in the county include Lake Amador, Lake Camanche, Pardee Reservoir, Bear River Reservoir, Silver Lake, Sutter Creek, Cosumnes River, Mokelumne River, and Lake Tabeaud. Thirty-seven miles of the North Fork and main Mokelumne River were added to the California Wild and Scenic Rivers System on June 27, 2018, when Governor Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown signed Senate Bill 854.
Amador County is located approximately 45 miles (72 km) southeast of Sacramento in the part of California known as the Mother Lode, or Gold Country in the Sierra Nevada.
Amador County ranges in elevation from approximately 250 feet (76 m) in the western portion of the county to over 9,000 feet (2,700 m) in the eastern portion of the county, the tallest point being Thunder Mountain. The county is bordered on the north by the Cosumnes River and El Dorado County and on the south by the Mokelumne River and Calaveras County, on the west by Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties, and the east by Alpine County.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
1990–2000 2010 2020
|Race / Ethnicity||Pop 2010||Pop 2020||% 2010||% 2020|
|White alone (NH)||30,325||29,725||79.61%||73.44%|
|Black or African American alone (NH)||938||1,215||2.46%||3.00%|
|Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH)||547||577||1.44%||1.43%|
|Asian alone (NH)||396||554||1.04%||1.37%|
|Pacific Islander alone (NH)||63||73||0.17%||0.18%|
|Some Other Race alone (NH)||130||249||0.34%||0.62%|
|Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH)||936||2,067||2.46%||5.11%|
|Hispanic or Latino (any race)||4,756||6,014||12.49%||14.86%|
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
|Population, race, and income|
|Black or African American||870||2.3%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||889||2.3%|
|Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander||82||0.2%|
|Some other race||1,432||3.7%|
|Two or more races||988||2.6%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||4,677||12.2%|
|Per capita income||$28,030|
|Median household income||$56,180|
|Median family income||$69,521|
|Place||Type||Population||White||Other ||Asian||Black or African|
|Native American ||Hispanic or Latino|
(of any race)
|Camanche North Shore||CDP||791||96.7%||3.3%||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%||16.9%|
† County seat
‡ Data for Amador County area of this CDP
|Place||Type||Population||Per capita income||Median household income||Median family income|
|Camanche North Shore||CDP||791||$31,857||$58,309||$79,125|
† County seat
‡ Data for Amador County area of this CDP
The 2010 United States Census reported that Amador County had a population of 38,091. The racial makeup of Amador County was 33,149 (87.0%) White, 962 (2.5%) African American, 678 (1.8%) Native American, 419 (1.1%) Asian, 77 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 1,450 (3.8%) from other races, and 1,356 (3.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4,756 persons (12.5%).
| Hispanic |
(of any race)
|Camanche North Shore||CDP||979||860||3||14||12||3||38||49||150|
|All others not CDPs (combined)||Others not CDPs||11,182||10,297||47||160||100||18||221||339||848|
† County seat
‡ Data for Amador County area of this CDP
As of the census mile (10/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 85.8% White, 3.9% Black or African American, 1.8% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 5.0% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. 8.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.9% were of German, 12.6% English, 11.7% Irish, 8.8% Italian and 7.3% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 93.1% spoke English and 5.1% Spanish as their first language.of 2000, there were 35,100 people, 12,759 households, and 9,071 families residing in the county. The population density was 59 people per square mile (23/km2). There were 15,035 housing units at an average density of 25 per square
There were 12,759 households, out of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.9% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.81.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 20.6% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 28.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 122.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 123.4 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $42,280, and the median income for a family was $51,226. Males had a median income of $39,697 versus $28,850 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,412. About 6.1% of families and 9.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.1% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
The Shenandoah Valley was once the principal viticultural region of California though not as well known as the Napa Valley AVA or Sonoma Valley AVA viticultural regions. [ when? ], including the original Grandpère vineyard, planted with Zinfandel before 1869 and believed to be the oldest Zinfandel vineyard in America. This 10-acre (40,000 m2) vineyard is home to some of the oldest Zinfandel vines on earth, with proof of their existence dating to 1869 when it was listed as a descriptor on a deed from the U.S. Geological Survey. A grant deed in Amador County records further proves their existence in 1869.[ citation needed ]With the discovery of gold, the area quickly became a mecca for those trying to make their fortune. In the process numerous wineries sprouted up, many of whose vineyards are still in use by wineries today. The decline of the California Gold Rush coupled with the onset of Prohibition devastated the wine-making region of Amador County. Today this area has been resurrected and is now home to over 40 different wineries. Amador County is known for its Zinfandel, but many other varietals are produced as well. Amador County has a high percentage of old Zinfandel vines. Some of the Zinfandel vineyards in this county are more than 125 years old
The county is governed by a five-person elected Board of Supervisors and a County Administrator. The county seat is Jackson.
The unincorporated areas of Amador County are patrolled by the county sheriff's department who also operates the county jail and protects the courts. Municipal police departments within the county are at Ione, Jackson, and Sutter Creek.
|Population and registered voters|
|Peace and Freedom||46||0.2%|
|No party preference||3,683||17.2%|
|City||Population||Registered voters ||Democratic||Republican||D–R spread||Other||No party preference|
The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.
|Population and crime rates|
|Motor vehicle theft||60||1.57|
|City||Population||Violent crimes||Violent crime rate|
per 1,000 persons
|Property crimes||Property crime rate|
per 1,000 persons
Due to the low population of the area, there are few schools with small class sizes. In total for public schools, there are two high schools, two junior high schools, and six elementary schools.These numbers are in addition to two independent study schools, one charter school, and one continuing education school for adults. There are no colleges or universities within the county's borders.
"The Luck of Roaring Camp" is a short story by American author Bret Harte. It was first published in the August 1868 issue of the Overland Monthly and helped push Harte to international prominence. Harte lived in this area during his "Gold Rush" period, and possibly based the story in a mining camp on the Mokelumne River.
In the 1993 movie Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey , a map of Amador County is shown, as well as many other California counties.
Amador Transit provides service in Jackson and nearby communities. Connections to Calaveras County and Sacramento are additionally provided.
Amador County Airport is a general aviation airport located near Jackson.
Sacramento County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,585,055. Its county seat is Sacramento, which has been the state capital of California since 1854.
Yolo County, officially the County of Yolo, is a county located in the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 216,403. Its county seat is Woodland.
Alameda County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,682,353, making it the 7th-most populous county in the state and 21st most populous nationally. The county seat is Oakland. Alameda County is in the San Francisco Bay Area, occupying much of the East Bay region.
Alpine County is a county in the eastern part of the U.S. state of California located within the Sierra Nevada on the state border with Nevada. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 1,204, making it California's least populous county. The county seat and largest community is Markleeville.
Calaveras County, officially the County of Calaveras, is a county in both the Gold Country and High Sierra regions of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 45,292. The county seat is San Andreas. Angels Camp is the county's only incorporated city. Calaveras is Spanish for "skulls"; the county was reportedly named for the remains of Native Americans discovered by the Spanish explorer Captain Gabriel Moraga.
El Dorado County, officially the County of El Dorado, is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 191,185. The county seat is Placerville. The County is part of the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located entirely in the Sierra Nevada, from the historic Gold Country in the western foothills to the High Sierra in the east. El Dorado County's population has grown as Greater Sacramento has expanded into the region. Where the county line crosses US 50 at Clarksville, the distance to Sacramento is 15 miles. In the county's high altitude eastern end at Lake Tahoe, environmental awareness and environmental protection initiatives have grown along with the population since the 1960 Winter Olympics, hosted at the former Squaw Valley Ski Resort in neighboring Placer County.
Mariposa County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 U.S. Census, the population was 17,131. The county seat is Mariposa. It is located in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, north of Fresno, east of Merced, and southeast of Stockton.
Mono County is a county located in the east central portion of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 13,195, making it the fourth-least populous county in California. The county seat is Bridgeport. The county is located east of the Sierra Nevada between Yosemite National Park and Nevada. The only incorporated town in the county is Mammoth Lakes, which is located at the foot of Mammoth Mountain. Other locations, such as June Lake, are also famous as skiing and fishing resorts. Located in the middle of the county is Mono Lake, a vital habitat for millions of migratory and nesting birds. The lake is located in a wild natural setting, with pinnacles of tufa arising out of the salty and alkaline lake. Also located in Mono County is Bodie, the official state gold rush ghost town, which is now a California State Historic Park.
Nevada County is a county located in the U.S. state of California, in the Sierra Nevada. As of the 2020 census, the population was 102,241. The county seat is Nevada City. Nevada County comprises the Truckee-Grass Valley, CA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Sacramento-Roseville, CA Combined Statistical Area, part of the Mother Lode Country.
Placer County, officially the County of Placer, is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 404,739. The county seat is Auburn.
Sierra County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 3,236, making it California's second-least populous county. The county seat is Downieville; the sole incorporated city is Loyalton. The county is in the Sierra Nevada, northeast of Sacramento on the border with Nevada.
Solano County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 453,491. The county seat is Fairfield.
Stanislaus County is a county located in the San Joaquin Valley of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 552,878. The county seat is Modesto.
Tuolumne County, officially the County of Tuolumne, is a county located in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 55,620. The county seat and only incorporated city is Sonora.
Jackson is a city in and the county seat of Amador County, California. The population was 4,651 at the 2010 census, up from 3,989 at the 2000 census. The city is accessible by both State Route 49 and State Route 88.
Mokelumne Hill is a census-designated place (CDP) in Calaveras County, California, United States. The population was 646 at the 2010 census, down from 774 at the 2000 census. It is commonly referred to as "Moke Hill" by locals. The town takes its name from the neighboring Mokelumne River, which in turn is Miwok for the "people of Mokel," the likely name of a Native American village in the area.
The Mokelumne River is a 95-mile (153 km)-long river in northern California in the United States. The river flows west from a rugged portion of the central Sierra Nevada into the Central Valley and ultimately the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, where it empties into the San Joaquin River-Stockton Deepwater Shipping Channel. Together with its main tributary, the Cosumnes River, the Mokelumne drains 2,143 square miles (5,550 km2) in parts of five California counties. Measured to its farthest source at the head of the North Fork, the river stretches for 157 miles (253 km).
Camanche Village is a census-designated place in Amador County, California. It lies at an elevation of 276 feet, and has a population of 847.
Camanche Reservoir is an artificial lake in the San Joaquin Valley in California in the United States, at the juncture of Amador, Calaveras, and San Joaquin counties. Its waters are impounded by Camanche Dam, which was completed in 1963. Camanche Reservoir is a source of water for industrial and municipal purposes and also provides flood control.
Camanche Dam is an earthfill Dam on the Mokelumne River in the central California, about 20 mi (32 km) from East Lodi. The dam and reservoir lie in the Sierra Nevada foothills in San Joaquin County. Construction of Camanche Dam was started in 1963 and completed in 1964. East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) owns and operates it. The purpose of Camanche Dam and reservoir is to provide flood control, water flows for agriculture, habitat for fisheries and recreation for community.