Post Office Box 801
Rough & Ready, California 95975
Rough and Ready
Chamber of Commerce
The first established settlement of Rough and Ready was made in the fall of 1849 by a mining company from Wisconsin known as the Rough and Ready Company. Their leader, Captain A.A. Townsend, named the company after General Zachary Taylor, “Old Rough and Ready”, who had recently been elected the 12th president of the United States. Captain Townsend had served under “Old Rough and Ready” when he commanded the armed forces during the Mexican War.
The Rough and Ready Company mined the creeks for several weeks with such good results that Captain Townsend returned to Wisconsin to recruit
more men for his company. To his surprise, when he returned he found almost every square foot of mining ground for miles around being worked by others. This overcrowding severely limited mining opportunity for the Rough and Ready Company. Sadly, Capt. Townsend released most of his men to work for others in order for them to survive.
In 1859, a devastating fire destroyed most of Rough and Ready as shown in the photo. The only surviving structure was the current Grange Hall, shown at the top of the photo to the left.