Mormon Island was once a
thriving gold mining camp during the height of the gold rush. As the
name implies, the residents were primarily Mormons. At the height of
its popularity, the town had 2500 residents, 4 hotels, 7 saloons,
and 1 school. The town itself is credited with the inception of the
gold rush - a Mormon entrepreneur learned of this profitable camp
and went to San Francisco to spread the word. He eventually made a
fortune selling mining supplies in Sacramento, and left the hard
labor to the prospectors.
The town itself dwindled after the gold
was flushed out, and by the 1950s,
there were no more than a few residents left. What was left of the
town was eventually flooded in 1955 with the creation of
The only remnants of this town are
sometimes visible during extreme drought years, as
foundations of houses lie
underwater. There is a relocation cemetery located south of the
lake, where residents were moved before the lake was filled. A few
unknown residents of Prairie City were also transported there
when they were discovered during Intel's onramp construction.
This undated photo shows the town that
was once Mormon Island.
Miners' Hotel and Bakery, 1850s.