Timbuctoo California
Timbuctoo California
Timbuctoo, California
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About This Site

Timbuctoo, California, was once the most thriving town in eastern Yuba County. Now it’s only the ghost of a ghost town. What happened? Why didn’t Timbuctoo survive like Placerville, Nevada City and other Gold Country towns? Timbuctoo had a roaring past. And though it doesn’t have much of a present, it just might have a future.

I’m hoping to use this site to share information and stories about Timbuctoo, California, and to make it easier for people with similar knowledge and interests to get in touch with me.

Site updated 24 September 2018

 
 George Barrington's 1862 lithograph of Timbuctoo, California. (Library of Congress)

George Barrington's 1862 lithograph of Timbuctoo, California. (Library of Congress)

 
 

Fast Facts

 
 
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Timbuctoo’s population in 1859: Around 1,000 people.

 
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Timbuctoo’s population today: Around six people.

 
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The first burial in the area occurred in 1849.

 
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The most recent burial in Timbuctoo Cemetery occurred in February, 2108.

 
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In the 1800s, the trip from Marysville to Timbuctoo (approximately 18 miles) took about three and a half hours by stagecoach.

 
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Timbuctoo became a California State Historic Landmark (Number 320) on July 12, 1939.

 
 

Books and DVDs related to Timbuctoo and neighboring Smartsville

 

Smartsville and Timbuctoo

Book (2008)

By Kathleen Smith and Lane Parker

A pictorial history of the two gold-rush towns.

Arcadia Publishing (Images of America series), 2008.

Available through Arcadia Publishing, local bookstores, and Amazon.

 

California's Gold: Smartsville

 

DVD (2009)

Huell visits "downtown" Timbuctoo and neighboring Smartsville in an episode about places with unique names.

Episode #11001, 2009.

Originally affiliated with KCET TV, Los Angeles.

 

The Sage of Smartsville

Book (2014)

By George Rigby. Edited by Lane Parker and Kathleen Smith

These collected stories of George "The Sage of Smartsville" Rigby feature not only tales of Smartsville and Timbuctoo but also of Marysville, Grass Valley, Sacramento, San Francisco and more.

Comstock Bonanza Press, 2014.

Available through Comstock Bonanza Press, local bookstores, and Amazon

 

Pioneer Day 2019

Mark your calendars for the 12th Annual Smartsville and Timbuctoo Pioneer Day, happening next year on Saturday, April 27th. (The link above and the poster to the right is for 2018’s event.) I will likely take the stage again as "Timbuctoo Parker" at the Timbuctoo Theater, presenting a glimpse of life in the boomtown days of Timbuctoo. I may, for the sake of the audience, leave my guitar at home this time.

At 3 p.m., I’ll be in Timbuctoo for an informal 20-minute tour beginning in front of the Wells Fargo building ruins. Timbuctoo was so much more than just the Wells Fargo building! Get a real feel for what "downtown" Timbuctoo was like in its heyday.

 

Contact me

Do you have questions about Timbuctoo, California?

Or a story to share?

I would love to hear from you!

Also find Timbuctoo, California on Facebook!

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 The Wells Fargo building ruins at Timbuctoo, California, in February, 2007. (Photo by Lane Parker)

The Wells Fargo building ruins at Timbuctoo, California, in February, 2007. (Photo by Lane Parker)

 
 The Wells Fargo building ruins at Timbuctoo, California, in January, 2017. (Photo by Lane Parker)

The Wells Fargo building ruins at Timbuctoo, California, in January, 2017. (Photo by Lane Parker)