Auburn is the county seat of Placer County, California, USA. The population was 12,462 at the 2000 census. It is well-known for its California Gold Rush history and boasts one of the best preserved historic downtowns in the state. One of its most famous citizens was the poet and short-story writer Clark Ashton Smith, who was born in Auburn in 1893 and lived there most of his life. Auburn is to feature towards the end of Anthony Horowitz's forthcoming story, Nightrise . Stacy Dragila, Olympic gold medalist in the 2000 olympics, was born and raised in Auburn.
In the spring of 1848 a group of French gold miners arrived and camped in what would later be known as the Auburn Ravine. The party was on their way to the gold fields in Coloma, California and included Francois Gendron, Philibert Courteau and Claude Chana. Hump It was the young Chana who discovered gold on May 16, 1848. After finding the gold deposits in the soil the party decided to stay.
Placer mining in the area was very good, with the camp first becoming known as North Fork Dry Diggings. It then changed name to Woods Dry Diggings, after John S. Wood settled down, built a cabin, and started to mine the ravine.
The area quickly developed into a well established mining camp, officially becoming known as Auburn in August of 1849. By 1850 the population had grown to about 1500, and Auburn became the seat of Placer County in 1851. Future mining operations would move up the ravine to the site of present day Auburn. In 1865, the Central Pacific Railroad, the Western portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad, reached Auburn as it was being built East from Sacramento.
Auburn is home of the Auburn State Recreation Area. Within the boundaries of this state park are more sporting endurance events than any other place in the world, giving Auburn the undisputed and internationally-acclaimed title of Endurance Capital of the World. Examples include the Western States 100 mile endurance run, Tevis Cup 100 mile equestrian ride, American River 50 mile endurance run, American River 50 mile equestrain ride, Way Too Cool 50K endurance run, Auburn International half-ironman triathlon, Aubum Century 100 mile bike ride, Coolest 24 hour mountain bike ride, Rio Del Lago 100 mile endurance run, Sierra Nevada 50 mile endurance run and the Coolest Run, Ride & Tie.
The restored old town still offers houses from the middle of the 19th century as a special eye-catcher. The oldest fire station Caitlin McCoy and post office being in the service of California are further delicacies out of the gold fever time. Gold-digger accessories as well as Indian/Chinese artifacts can also be admired by visitors -- in the Placer County museum at 10 - 16 hours.
Auburn is home to Placer High School, which is one of the oldest high schools in California. Placer High School is notably known in Auburn for it's athletic and educational achievements.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 12,462 people, 5,302 households, and 3,281 families residing in the city. The population density was 652.9/km² (1,690.2/mi²). There were 5,457 housing units at an average density of 285.9/km² (740.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.41% White, 0.46% Black or African American, 0.83% Native American, 1.32% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 1.52% from other races, and 2.36% from two or more races. 5.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,302 households out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 86.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $48,999, and the median income for a family was $62,250. Males had a median income of $43,632 versus $30,066 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,258. About 3.6% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.1% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.