Smartsville and Timbuctoo (California State Landmarks Nos. 321 and 320) are essentially one place with two names. As worked-out claims and floods forced placer forty-niners up from the sandbars into the hills above the Yuba River, and as word spread around the world about gold in the California hills, towns and communities formed. The Smartsville and Timbuctoo area was once the most populated place in eastern Yuba County. Black Bart, Jim "the Timbuctoo Terror" Webster, and other desperadoes haunted the local roads. Eventually fires, worked-out diggings, and the Sawyer Decision succeeded in driving out all but the most dedicated (and in some cases eccentric) residents. Neither town, though, is ready yet for the dustbin of history: the population might once again explode--this time not with gold seekers but with long-distance commuters, turning the former boomtowns into future bedroom communities.
Smartsville and Timbuctoo
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