mariposa

Mariposa got its name when early Spanish explorers noticed an abundance of beautiful butterflies in the area. Thus, they called the territory "Mariposa," the Spanish term for butterfly.

The discovery of gold in 1848 resulted in one of the biggest gold rushes in the world, and the county reaped its share of the riches and excitement of the era. Today, those wild times have given way to a more serene scene with antique shops, quaint restaurants, historic hotels, bed and breakfast inns, and wineries dotting the landscape.

The county offers a rural and relaxed lifestyle for its 16,000-plus population. While marketing efforts are being made to develop a more diverse economy, the strategic plan calls for emphasis on retaining and enhancing this excellent quality of life for its residents and guests.