Hammonton is a ghost town in Yuba County. It is located on the south bank of the Yuba River (opposite Browns Valley), southwest of Timbuctoo, west of Smartsville, northeast of Waldo Junction, north of Beale Air Force Base, and northeast of Marigold. Its elevation is 131 feet.
The U.S. Postal Service sometimes lists addresses in Hammonton as being in Marysville, because they are both in the 95901 zip code. However, on the Yuba-Sutter Wiki, we prefer listing the more specific location Hammonton.
The Yuba River at what would later become Hammonton used to be located about 1.5 miles southeast of its current location. In the 1860s, the debris from hydraulic mining upstream filled the original river channel so completely that the river spilled out into a two-miles-wide, 20-feet deep flow that buried Marysville and much of what is now Yuba City in muck. When the river was eventually reconfined to a narrower channel, it was not located in exactly the same place as before.
The town of Hammonton was founded and wholly owned by Wendell P. Hammon's gold dredging company, which dredged the hydraulic mining debris to recover any remaining gold from it. The town was first known as Dredgertown and Dredgerville, before being named after Hammon. Over 65 years, the company mined more than $138 million in gold from the Hammonton area.1
The Hammonton post office was established from 1906 to 1957.2 In 1957, the company stopped dredging and shut down the town, displacing its inhabitants.
Hammonton Road in the Hammonton area is no longer maintained by Yuba County. It is a gravel road with numerous large potholes. There are signs posted indicating that the road may be dangerous and that Yuba County is not liable for any injuries. If you choose to visit Hammonton, it is probably best to do so in a vehicle with four-wheel-drive capability.
1. Hammon Papers, 1898-1968
2. California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State by David L. Durham. Word Dancer Press, 1998