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Sierraville, California

Village or Town
Sierraville is surrounded by cattle fields and wetlands – Mary Davey

Tucked at the base of the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada you find Sierraville which offers remnants of both early ranching and logging.

Sierraville is deeply rooted in cattle ranching, with many historic ranches still active today. Many descendants of the Italian-American families that settled this area in the mid to late-1800s still make a living here. In this area, you can see working cowboys riding across a field along the highway, or throwing bales of hay into their pickup truck. In fact, local restaurant, Los Dos Hermanos, features many different local cattle brands inside the dining room on the wall above the bar.

The brick-built grocery store in Sierraville is one of the few remaining buildings constructed of Sierra Valley brick. Numerous historic barns and farm houses throughout Sierra Valley date back to the 19th century. Today you can stay overnight in historic ranch houses.

The Tahoe National Forest Service has a district office located in Sierraville. There is an historic hot springs to the southeast and an historic resort to the southwest.

History

The Sierra Valley ranches were settled in the 1850s. The ranches provided dairy products, hay, and cattle for Truckee and the western Sierra County mines and also to the Comstock mines in Nevada in the 1860s. By the 1880s it was one of the finest agricultural regions of California.

Since 1853, much of the population has been devoted to cattle raising and farming. Many of the existing ranches and barns were built in the 19th century. The lumber industry was also part of this healthy agricultural economy. Sierra Valley timber supplied the Comstock mines, Central Pacific Railroad, and California fruit industry from the 1860s to the turn of the century. The early 1900s marked a decline in the timber demands with the closing of mines, but the Sierra Valley lumber industry continued to be an important aspect of the economy and culture until the late 20th century.