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Forest City National Register Historic District

Historic Site or District
Lee Adams

Located on the north fork of Oregon Creek, Forest City’s roots and fortunes are tied to the search for gold. As gold mining prospered, so did the community. And as mining diminished, so did the town. It once boasted 32 commercial businesses that included numerous saloons and dance halls, Catholic and Methodist churches, blacksmith shop, butcher shop, grocer, drug store, and two variety stores. The town also supported a band and baseball team.

Today, 26 structures survive in the town, including the school building and building that served as a dance hall, both of which are owned and operated by the Forest City Historical Association, a non-profit corporation. Two cemeteries that date to the Gold Rush also survive. In addition to the draw of history, Forest City is a starting point for a number of hiking and mountain biking trails in the area.

Forest City has been designated a National Register Historic District and is located in the Tahoe National Forest. First settled in 1852 as Brownsville, the community once boasted a population of over 1,000 and today is home to just a handful. The town is unique in that it never went through the patent process for land ownership. All real property in Forest City is publicly owned and managed by the U.S. Forest Service with the buildings allowed via special use permits.

Time Period Represented

1850s to 1950s


Seasons Open

Year round, but winter does bring snow.


Free. Forest City is located on your public lands administered by the US Forest Service. Do respect private property rights as all structures are privately owned.

Nearby Places