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Volcano Press

Historic Site or District
The front of our building covered with flaming Virgina Creeper in the fall. – Adam Gottstein

Volcano Press is a family-owned publishing company located in the center of Volcano, a historic Gold Rush town in Amador County, on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains. We live and work in a restored stone building erected as a brewery in 1856, still protected by the original iron shutters. Sibley’s Brewery provided beer for the thirsty Gold Rush miners.

We have published two compelling books on the history of Amador County.

"THE GHOST TOWNS OF AMADOR" is a charming history of the now vanished communities that sprang up in the wake of the Gold Rush, described by author John Andrews’ from diverse sources--1850s maps, old newspapers, city directories and property transactions.

His most productive method was his exploration of the sites themselves, revealing old building footings, chimneys, cemeteries and wells, stoves and crockery. Many national origins are derived from the names such as French Camp, China Gulch, Irishtown and Irish Hill, Lancha Plana, Camp O'pera, Misery Flat, Jackass Gulch and Slabtown.

As a ground rule, "...a ghost town is one that once had a population of at least several hundred, and now has none, or no more than five." Author Andrews tells us, "With each passing year the ceaseless assault of the elements, the depredations of the vandal and hoodlum, and that archenemy of these ancient things, the blade of the bulldozer, take their toll."

"THE GHOST TOWNS OF AMADOR" is newly enhanced with an updated map, line drawings and additional anecdotes provided by Sutter Creek historian/artist Robert Richards.


“JOHN DOBLE’S JOURNAL AND LETTERS FROM THE MINES” is a unique contribution to our knowledge of the California Gold Rush. Doble lived and mined in Volcano. He was a man whose mind was concerned with significant details, bringing his times vividly to life by recording his feelings about little known places in the Mother Lode, as few of his contemporaries had time to do.

The reader has the illusion of being part of the story. You are happy when John makes a rich strike; you are grieved with him when his partner Jim dies. He recorded a vigilante meeting in Jackson, and a wealth of day-to-day detail about placer mining, business, and gold camp housekeeping.


Currently in production is “THE HISTORY OF VOLCANO”. Little has been reported about the significance of the millions of dollars of gold shipped to the Union side during the Civil War. Nevertheless it was of crucial importance, because California was a “tipping state”, almost evenly divided between Union and Confederate support.

“THE HISTORY OF VOLCANO” will connect the dots for the reader who is interested in Gold Rush history and Volcano’s pivotal role from the 1850’s—to present.


To learn more about the history of Amador County, please visit Volcano Press at

Time Period Represented

1850's to present

Nearby Places