Agua Fria was a significant early mining camp and the first county seat of Mariposa County from 1850 to 1854. The town lost prominence as new mining districts emerged. Agua Fria had a post office from 1851 to 1862, and the town was part of the original 27 counties of California, with Mariposa County comprising one-fifth of the state. On June 22, 1866, a fire destroyed around 75 buildings in the town, which was never rebuilt as residents didn't own the land. The California Gold Rush initiated the story of western mining and Agua Fria's establishment.
After the fire in 1866, the town of Agua Fria was never rebuilt, and its population dispersed to other mining areas or sought opportunities elsewhere. As a result, the town gradually faded into obscurity. However, the legacy of Agua Fria and its role in California's early history remains significant. It served as an important hub during the initial years of the California Gold Rush, reflecting the rapid growth and expansion of mining communities in the region.
Although Agua Fria no longer exists as a town, its memory lives on through historical markers and accounts of its past. This once bustling mining town stands as a testament to the dynamic and often transient nature of the gold rush era, highlighting the challenges faced by early settlers and their determination to overcome adversity.
Today, the site of Agua Fria offers a glimpse into the past for historians, tourists, and enthusiasts interested in learning about California's early mining history and the gold rush that defined the state's development.