Between 1851 and 1873, more people lived in Dutch Flat than any other place in Placer County. Today, the population has shrunk to 110 but the town is gearing up for the seasonal Open House of the Golden Drift Historical Society on Saturday, May 27th. Damage to the historical cemetery, caused by exceptionally harsh winter storms, was more than resident volunteers could handle. Today, the community got a hand from CAL FIRE’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer unit, and the traditional Memorial Day weekend tour of the cemetery is on.

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Video by Riparian Studios

Robin Reynolds lives next to the historical cemetery and feels a responsibility to take care of the landmark. What started out as hiring a crew to weedwhack and help clear the paths between the sections and plots turned into an annual community volunteer cleanup day.

This morning, he greeted volunteers, CAL FIRE crews and media, sharing some of his family history. His father surveyed the Bear River, way before I-80 was built, and settled in Dutch Flat. Robin and his wife Diane, a retired teacher, continue to make their home in the historic town. Both are very aware of the need to reduce fuel loads and allow for a healthy forest to grow.

Taking care of the cemetery is a natural extension of their stewardship for the land, a sentiment shared by the other volunteers who hauled branches, brought loppers and rakes to keep this part of their town in good shape.

The CAL FIRE crews were briefed by NEU’s Assistant Chief for the East Division, Bob Counts. Respect for the unusual setting of their fuel reduction work was evident as crews raked paths, cut trees and tree limbs, chipping the piles created by the hard work of the volunteers.

Ready for the Golden Drift Historical Society’s Open House on May 27th

Dutch Flat will welcome visitors on Memorial Day weekend, complete with tours of the town and the cemetery. Debby McClatchy’s Cemetery Tour takes place on Saturday May 27th, but you can take a self-guided walking tour any time. During the summer, the Golden Drift Museum is part of Placer County Museum Division’s Heritage Trail Tour and admission is free. The Museum is open starting on Memorial Day weekend through September, Friday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. All the sales in the museum go towards projects in the town. You can also support them by donating online.

Discover the town and stop by the Museum on Main Street, it’s almost like stepping back in time.