Douglas City
Location of Douglas City in Trinity County, California.
Douglas City
Douglas City
Position in California.
Coordinates: 40°38′42″N 122°55′39″W / 40.64500°N 122.92750°W / 40.64500; -122.92750Coordinates: 40°38′42″N 122°55′39″W / 40.64500°N 122.92750°W / 40.64500; -122.92750
Country United States
State California
 • Total30.44 sq mi (78.83 km2)
 • Land30.43 sq mi (78.80 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)  0.05%
Elevation2,152 ft (656 m)
 • Total868
 • Density28.53/sq mi (11.02/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)530
GNIS feature ID2582999
U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Douglas City, California

Douglas City is a census-designated place (CDP) in Trinity County, California[2] first settled during the California Gold Rush. Douglas City sits at an elevation of 2,152 feet (656 m).[2] The ZIP Code is 96024. The community is inside area code 530. Its population is 868 as of the 2020 census, up from 713 from the 2010 census. The Whiskeytown–Shasta–Trinity National Recreation Area is nearby.


It was named after Stephen Douglas of Illinois,[3] who became well known after the Lincoln–Douglas debates of 1858.


The prehistoric residents of the area were Wintun people; from North Fork to Douglas City the group was called Tien-Tien which means "friends". The Karuk called the same people the Kashahara.[4] Local people suffered loss of population beginning with the epidemic of 1842.[5][6] The explorer Jedediah Smith and his party came through the Hayfork area in 1828, killing several local people to intimidate the others and permit their passage.[7] The Tien-Tien population was further reduced during the gold rush along the Trinity River.[8]

In 1848, Pierson B. Reading found gold along the Trinity; the bar he worked is at Reading's Creek just south of the Douglas City bridge.[9] Reading took out over $80,000 dollars of gold on his first trip.[7]: 117  Douglas Bar was active before 1856.[9] Settlers arrived quickly, workings began on other bars in the area and towns formed at places along the trails for housing and supply.[9] In just two years, every bar along the Trinity and its tributary streams was being worked and agriculture had started in some of the valleys.[9]

Douglas City was settled by Europeans and Americans around 1850 as a mining and supply town.

The Natural Bridge[10] (associated more with Hayfork than Douglas City) was the site of the Bridge Gulch Massacre in March 1852. Trinity Sheriff William H. Dixon and a number of men set out to catch the individuals (thought to be Wintu Indians) who killed a well-liked local butcher by the name of J. R. Anderson. There should be a note of sarcasm that most white men who died by the hands of Native Americans were “well-liked” or “well-known”. The posse never found the assailants of Anderson, but after two days of tracking, did find another (and much larger camp) of Wintu Indians at the natural bridge. They attacked in the early morning hours and killed nearly every man, woman, and child. Accounts vary, but the numbers usually trend toward 150 killed with one to three children surviving.

The streams and hillsides of the area suffered during the Great Flood of 1862.[11] Gold panning and hydraulic mining continued. By 1864, the river bars around Douglas City had produced over $1,000,000 of gold, an enormous sum in 1864 dollars.[12]: 328  The first Post Office in Douglas City started in 1867.[13]

Until 1857 all transport to and from Douglas City was by foot, mule or horse.[11]: 282  When a private road was built through the area, four-horse stagecoaches ran from Weaverville through Douglas City to Redding Creek, Brown's Creek and Hayfork Valley.[11]: 285  In 1863 locals formed the Douglas City Rifles to combat the Wintun; none of their raids caused bloodshed.[11]: 303–308  In 1859, Theodore Eldon Jones (later the first Trinity County Superior Court Judge) started the short-lived Douglas City Gazette newspaper.[11]: 296  Renamed Trinity Gazette, it stopped publishing in 1861 as people left the area for the American Civil War and new gold diggings in Idaho.

The Douglas City Library was founded on September 27, 1916 by Maude Marshall who maintained it in her home for both the public and students at the Douglas City school district.[14]


Nearby towns and cities include Big Bar, French Gulch, Igo, Junction City, Lewiston, Redding, Weaverville, and Whiskeytown.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 25.1 square miles (65 km2), 99.95% of it land and 0.05% of it water.

Pleistocene deposits near Douglas City have Mammoth, Ground sloth and deer fossil bones.[15]


This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Douglas City has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[16]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[17]

The 2010 United States Census[18] reported that Douglas City had a population of 713. The population density was 28.5 people per square mile (11.0/km2). The racial makeup of Douglas City was 639 (89.6%) White, 0 (0.0%) African American, 22 (3.1%) Native American, 8 (1.1%) Asian, 2 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 13 (1.8%) from other races, and 29 (4.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 47 persons (6.6%).

The Census reported that 669 people (93.8% of the population) lived in households, 44 (6.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 308 households, out of which 55 (17.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 151 (49.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 20 (6.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 17 (5.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 27 (8.8%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 5 (1.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 91 households (29.5%) were made up of individuals, and 39 (12.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17. There were 188 families (61.0% of all households); the average family size was 2.65.

The population was spread out, with 109 people (15.3%) under the age of 18, 40 people (5.6%) aged 18 to 24, 129 people (18.1%) aged 25 to 44, 283 people (39.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 152 people (21.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 110.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.7 males.

There were 415 housing units at an average density of 16.6 per square mile (6.4/km2), of which 239 (77.6%) were owner-occupied, and 69 (22.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 15.7%. 514 people (72.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 155 people (21.7%) lived in rental housing units.


In 1994, the Douglas City Elementary School had 141 pupils.[19] In 2010, the enrollment for the K-8 school was 114; spending was about $12,000 per student.[20]


California State Route 299 and California State Route 3 junction across the Trinity River from Douglas City and continue co-joined through the town on the way to Weaverville. Steiner Flat Road continues from Douglas City downstream along the Trinity.


In the state legislature, Douglas City is in the 2nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Mike McGuire,[21] and the 2nd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Jim Wood.[22]

Federally, Douglas City is in California's 2nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Jared Huffman.[23]

See also


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Douglas City, California
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 108.
  4. ^ Congressional Serial Set. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1906. pp. 660–.
  5. ^ Stephen Powers (November 1976). Tribes of California. University of California Press. pp. 230–232. ISBN 978-0-520-03172-2.
  6. ^ Alfred Louis Kroeber (1925). Handbook of the Indians of California. Courier Dover Publications. pp. 356–. ISBN 978-0-486-23368-0.
  7. ^ a b James K. Agee (2007). Steward's Fork: A Sustainable Future for the Klamath Mountains. University of California Press. pp. 116–117. ISBN 978-0-520-93379-8.: 116 
  8. ^ Dennis Lewon (2001). Hiking California's Trinity Alps Wilderness. Globe Pequot Press. pp. 18–. ISBN 978-1-56044-713-9.
  9. ^ a b c d Historic Spots in California, Third Edition (1978). Historic Spots in California, Third Edition. Stanford University Press. pp. 554–. ISBN 978-0-8047-4020-3.
  10. ^ "Natural Bridge | VisitTrinity". Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  11. ^ a b c d e John Carr (1891). Pioneer Days in California. Times Publishing Company. pp. 284–.
  12. ^ William Henry Brewer (1 January 2003). Up and Down California in 1860-1864: The Journal of William H. Brewer. University of California Press. pp. 326–329. ISBN 978-0-520-23865-7.
  13. ^ Nancy Capace; Somerset Publishers, Incorporated (June 1, 1999). Encyclopedia of California. North American Book Dist LLC. pp. 229–. ISBN 978-0-403-09318-2.
  14. ^ NNCL, News Notes of California Libraries. California State Library. 1922. pp. 774–.
  15. ^ David Rains Wallace (1983). The Klamath Knot: Explorations of Myth and Evolution. University of California Press. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-0-520-23659-2.
  16. ^ Climate Summary for Douglas City, California
  17. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  18. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Douglas City CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  19. ^ California Department of Education Staff (1 January 1994). California Public School Directory, 1994. California Department of Education. p. 587. ISBN 978-0-8011-1091-7.
  20. ^ "Douglas City Elementary School District". World Media Group. 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  21. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  22. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  23. ^ "California's 2nd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013.