Located a few miles north of Interstate 80 and about 25 miles northeast of Auburn, the pretty little town of Dutch Flat was founded in 1851 and named after an early German miner, Joseph Dorenbach. The name was probably a distortion of the German "Deutsch." The town was one of the largest in the area, with 500 registered voters. Today its population numbers around 300. Railroad builder Theodore Judah successfully raised funds here for his project; local merchants stood to profit handsomely by selling their goods to the newly opened Comstock Lode in Nevada. To make sure of a good thing, the merchants also organized the Dutch Flat and Donner Lake Wagon Road Company to improve the long-neglected Sierra route. The town prospered until the 1880s.

Dutch Flat was one of the few Gold Rush towns never to suffer a major fire. Today, several beautiful old buildings make this town worth the short detour from Interstate 80: an 1852 I.O.O.F. Hall, a Masonic Hall dating to 1856, an old Episcopal church, and the two-story Dutch Flat Hotel, dating from 1852. On Main Street, visitors will find the Dutch Flat Museum.

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