Named after the Catholic parish St. Andres, the town has been a noted mining camp since early days. Gold from the surrounding ancient river channels and placer mines contributed greatly to the success of the Union during the Civil War. Founded and settled by Mexicans in 1848. Destroyed by fire June 4, 1858, and in 1863, San Andreas became the seat of Calaveras County in 1866. The downtown Museum features the restored courthouse, a hall of records with more to see in the Odd Fellow’s Hall and restored parts of what was once the county jail.
San Andreas top attractions are quite diverse. Here you can find the Calaveras County museum complex including the old courthouse and jail, the Performing Animal Welfare Society, and nearby in Mountain Ranch, the state’s first show cave, California Cavern State Historic Landmark. Antique lovers will enjoy browsing two of the best antique stores in Calaveras County: Antiques Trading Post. At the County Museum Complex, you can visit the old, historic courthouse and learn about its most famous trials including that of notorious gentleman bandit, Black Bart. You can go inside the original jail, close those iron doors and imagine what it felt like to be there under lock and key. There’s a lot to enjoy here including exhibits on early Miwok settlers, and the California Gold Rush. Be sure to pop into the County Archives for more fascinating history.