Latitude / Longitude:
39°38′47″N 121°32′18″W / 39.64639°N 121.53833°W / 39.64639
1,306 ft (398 m)
Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
Cherokee is a census-designated place in Butte County, California. It is an area inhabited by Maidu Indians prior to the gold rush, but that takes its name from a band of Cherokee prospectors who perfected a mining claim on the site. The population was 69 at the 2010 census. It lies at an elevation of 1306 ft (398 m).
Possibly the site of the historic gold mine, on the 1994 Cherokee, California 7.5-minute quadrangle, a feature named “Cherokee Placer Mine” exists about 0.65 miles southwest of the above coordinates. USGS identifies Cherokee Flat and Drytown as historic variant names for the community. The town is located on Cherokee Road off State Route 70.
Today, Cherokee now consists of a museum and a Cherokee cemetery, as well as a few houses. The Cherokee Heritage and Museum Association maintains both.
The area that is now Cherokee was once populated by the Maidu. Around 1818 Spanish explorers found gold on Cherokee’s south side near Table Mountain. In 1849 Cherokee came from Oklahoma. Welsh miners came in the 1850s, naming the town after the Cherokee and constructing many buildings in town.