Colfax Area Historical Society

Historical Photos, Landmarks, and Plaques

This page contains photographs of buildings, landmarks, plaques, and commemorations in the Colfax area.

Click any of the thumbnail pictures on this page to view a larger version of the picture.


Colfax history
Museum & archives
Research resources
About the CAHS
FAQs (Q&A)

Phone: (530) 346-8599


USPS mail: Mail for both the Colfax Area Heritage Museum and the Colfax Area Historical Society is received at PO Box 185, Colfax, CA 95713.

Museum location: The Colfax Area Heritage Museum is physically located at 99 Railroad St, Colfax CA 95713.

Web site:


The Lincoln Highway on old Highway 40, now known as Rollins Lake Road, at the junction of Norton Grade (Cape Horn Road), Colfax, California.


The first brick building, built in 1865 as a General Merchandise Store, was established by Robert and William Wallace.

The General Merchandise Store, established by Leopold and Josephine Lobner in 1867.

The Colfax Record was established in 1908. It is one of California's oldest weekly newspapers that is still in print.

One of California's oldest pharmacies, established in 1876. It was owned by the Wayland family until 1996.

On this site, in 1875, John Mischler owned "The Butcher Shope." In 1911, Daniel A. Russell erected this building as a Butcher Shop.

Jacob Keck, Sr., established this building in 1865 as a Trading Post.

Jacob Keck, Sr., in 1865 established this building as a Saloon.

Capehorn Promontory overlook with an Amtrak Train coming out of the tunnel through Cape Horn. The benches provide leisurely looking over the American River Canyon.

The Capehorn Overlook benches were provided by the Colfax Area Historical Society. One of the plaques commemorates the work of thousands of Chinese workers. The other plaque honors the Armed Services of America and the Blue Star Memorial By-Way.

The International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) building was built in 1889.

The Free andAccepted Masons building was built in 1867.

The Colfax United Methodist Church, established in 1874, is the oldest church still used in Colfax.

The Colfax Area Historical Society celebrates the Chinese workers who helped build the railroad, which included hanging over a cliff in wicker baskets to dynamite the rock away for the rail bed.

Colfax as seen a few years ago, and Colfax as seen today.

The Colfax Railroad Station before its restoration, and the Colfax Railroad Station and Passenger Depot after restoration.

An old Railroad Caboose Museum courtesy of The Soroptimists.

A plaque for the Blue Star Memorial By-Way, dedicated to all U.S. Armed Forces by the Colfax Garden Club.

A Union Pacific freight train travelling through the Colfax Railroad yard, soon to enter the perfect grade of Cape Horn just out of town.

A monitor (water cannon) used in hydraulic mining, only a few miles east of town at Gold Run, and a stagecoach of days gone by taking on passengers in Auburn.

Chamber of Commerce in old RR Passenger Car with the Old Hotel being restored in the background, and a refurbished (Jacob Kuenzly/Lobner) Victorian House.

Plaque dedicated to the Pioneer Settlers of Alder Grove, later known as Illinoistown from 1849 to 1865,and later changed to Colfax. Presented by the Native Daughters of the Golden West, September 12, 1945.


Known as "The Pastime Club" since 1925, this building has been owned by Harry and Elvira Bianchi. When it was built in 1866, it was owned by Bernard Murphy, and was called "Murphy's Saloon."

Known as the "Railhead Saloon" since 1982, it is owned by Gilbert and Pearl Dalpino. It was formerly called "George's Club" in 1946. Originally, in 1865, it was Historic Lot 6–Block 3.

City Hall was formerly a Memorial Hall in honor of WW I Veterans. Its cornerstone was laid April 23, 1927, on the former site of W.H. Russell's Livery Stable. On June 26, 1928, it was under joint ownership as Colfax City Hall and Placer County Court House.

On August 24, 2000, its Time Capsule was opened, and a new Time Capsule was sealed in the cornerstone on Sept. 10, 2000—to be opened in the year 2050. This plaque was dedicated by Gertrude Paul for the CAHS on Dec. 1, 2000.

Both gazebos are used for concerts and other events. One is near the Caboose and has been joined by the Chamber of Commerce Railcar and a statue of Schuyler Colfax. The other is located at the other end of town in a Sequoia tree setting with benches and grass.


Indian Cemetery
Colfax District
North Gazebo
South Gazebo
May 29, 2000
Memorial Day
VFW Doves of Peace