Gold was discovered along the Trinity River in 1848. The communities, ghost towns and mining camps of Trinity County had their beginnings in those historic years following the discovery of gold.
Some of these early mines were worked over by large gold dredges. The first successful dredge operation was started about 1916 by the Pacific Gold Dredging Company at the mouth of Coffee Creek. The dredge later moved to Trinity Center where it continued to operate until 1925. The dredge camp established there later became known as “Stringtown” because of the manner in which the camp was strung out. Stringtown is now under Lake Trinity.
When Trinity Lake was being developed, structures from the small community of Stringtown were moved to various locations in Trinity Center, Carrville Loop and the Coffee Creek area.
The mines that were along both sides of the Trinity River, north of Trinity Center up to and including the lower portion of Coffee Creek have been grouped together as the North Lake Mining Operations District.
The mines were active from 1893 until 1922. Many structures still stand that date back to those early years. It is thought large amounts of gold still remain in Coffee Creek to this day.