Mormon Island, California

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Mormon Island
Drawing of Mormon Island
Drawing of Mormon Island
LocationActual site: Under Folsom Lake
Historic marker: Folsom Lake State Recreation Area[1]
Coordinates38°42′13″N 121°07′03″W / 38.7035°N 121.1174°W / 38.7035; -121.1174
Reference #569[1]
 
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Coordinates: 38°42′13″N 121°07′03″W / 38.7035°N 121.1174°W / 38.7035; -121.1174

Mormon Island
Drawing of Mormon Island
Drawing of Mormon Island
LocationActual site: Under Folsom Lake
Historic marker: Folsom Lake State Recreation Area[1]
Coordinates38°42′13″N 121°07′03″W / 38.7035°N 121.1174°W / 38.7035; -121.1174
Reference #569[1]
Topographical map of Mormon Island in 1892

Mormon Island was once a mining community, which had an abundance of Mormon immigrants, seeking fortune along the American River. At its peak, the community once was home to 2500 residents, four hotels, a school, and seven saloons.[citation needed] The community dwindled after the California gold rush and only a scattered few families were left in the 1940s.

What was left of Mormon Island was eventually razed, as the Folsom Dam project was set to flood the town. The only visible remnant of this community is Mormon Island Cemetery,[2][3] a relocation cemetery located south of the lake on the dry side of Mormon Island Dam (off of Green Valley Road in Folsom, California). The cemetery is also home to other cemeteries that were flooded, as well as to relocated graves from Prairie City which were unearthed during construction of an on-ramp to Highway 50 from Prairie City Road.

Mormon Island is now registered as California Historical Landmark #569.[1] Because the former site is now under Folsom Lake, the historic marker was instead physically placed at the Folsom Point picnic area of Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.[1]

Geographical information

The "island" was formed by the American River to the western, northern, and eastern sides and a man-made canal formed the southern side. The canal was used to divert water in an effort to find gold deeper within the river bed. Over time, the bulk of the town formed south of this site.[4]

When the lake is at very low levels, some foundations of buildings and an arched bridge can be seen.

References

External links