Headquarters of Col. John C. Fremont, world-famous American, who, in 1847, purchased a floating Mexican grant of 44,000 acres for $3000. After gold was discovered, he floated his grant to include the Mother Lode gold belt from Mariposa to Merced River. After costly litigation, his title was confirmed by Supreme Court in 1859.
He worked his rich placers by grubstaking experienced Mexican miners before the influx of Americans and subsequently he opened up rich quartz mines, in 1851. He built a two story hotel and later a large store and his home, called "The White House". Horace Greeley visited here in 1859 and wrote "The colonel is now operating two stamp mills and netting $100,000 a year". In 1863, he sold his grant for $6,000,000.