The discovery of gold in 1860 on George Johnson's Sheep Ranch, by Harvey Childers led to the birth of the community. In the 1870's the town included a Catholic and Protestant Church, a post office, a two teacher school with 30 students, and the Sheep Ranch, Elk and Chevanne Quartz Mines. Noteworthy businesses were John Hauselt's Brewery, Ben Stephens' General Store, Alex Freidburger's Store, and Albert and Gebhart were butchers. In 1877 a 20 stamp mill began operation. The 160 acre town of Sheep Ranch was surveyed in 1878 and patented by Calaveras County Judge I.H. Reed in 1880. The IOOF Building became The Eagle Hotel owned by Adam Poe. Charles Anderson moved The Pioneer Hotel from Chee Chee Flat, in 1904 it was raised and a first floor was added below. This hotel and the "Sheep Ranch Mine" monument are located at the end of Main Street.