Originally populated by Oregon prospectors who worked the area during 1849 the town was first known as Oregon Gulch. Mexicans from Sonora changed the name to Campo Seco, which means “Dry Camp,” because of the lack of water.
The town contains the largest living cork oak tree in California, which was planted in 1858. The original Campo Seco oak tree was imported from Portugal by the early California Mexican miners to provide wine-bottle cork material.
Campo Seco residents can enjoy all the water recreation at Camanche Reservoir. In addition to fishing, swimming, windsurfing, water-skiing and jet-skiing at the lake there is horseback riding and golfing.
The elevation is 560 feet above sea level with a population of 55 individuals. It is 58 miles to Sacramento 36 to Stocton and a three hour drive to the Bay Area. Our Map of Campo Seco.
History of Campo Seco
As a gold camp, the town lasted only a year or so before placer gold was exhausted. People began to leave for more prosperous diggings when a deposit of copper was discovered. The price of copper reached a high in 1860 and gold was nearly a thing of the past (see Copperopolis). Operations continued until about 1924 as the fortunes of dry diggings went up and down according to the price of copper. There’s still enough to see to make a visit interesting. Submitted by Henry Chenowith to ghosttowns.com.