The city of Etna began in 1853 with the construction of a sawmill. In 1855 a flour mill was built and named Rough and Ready mill. Stores, a hotel and schools were established a few years later. In 1897, the Collier Hotel was built as a brothel. The two-story, six-bedroom building was converted in the 1930s to a boarding house. Today the building is a hotel, now a place for travelers exploring the community.

Charles Kappler came to the Scott Valley, buying a brewery in 1868 and moving it to Etna in 1872. Kappler’s four horse-drawn wagons delivered beer throughout the region. In 1990, Etna Brewery was rebuilt and opened on the site of the original bottling plant, and the addition of a pub now brings award-winning beers and food to the area.