First settled in 1849, the area around Drytown was found to be so rich that it’s population increased rapidly and by 1850 it had become a town of considerable size. Located eight to ten miles northeast of Jackson and half way between the Consumnes and the Mokelumne Rivers, it sits on the aptly named Dry Creek whose run during the summer season was limited at best. After the almost rainless winter of 50-51 there was so little water that it became almost impossible to process the ore. As a result many miners left the area.
Those who remained tried to sell their claims but with little success. That forced them to bring in water from higher in the mountains, much like Jackson had, and this proved to be the answer to their prayers. Drytown quickly became the center of a number of prosperous camps. Many valuable quartz deposits discovered near the town contributed to its permanency while most of the nearby camps that were solely dependent on placer deposits were quickly abandoned when the surface gold played out.