From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Kentucky Ridge, Nevada County, California

The African American community at Kentucky Ridge, CA, was NOT founded or populated by former slaves from Kentucky. The community was located in Nevada County, CA, near Bidney Springs and Rough and Ready.

Kentucky Ridge was established by Colonel William F. English, a former plantation owner from Georgia. In 1851, English moved with colleagues and slaves to California, where they were unsuccessful as quartz miners. The male slaves were then used as placer miners and the females became washer women. Colonel English died in 1853, and the slaves were eventually freed.

For more see Blacks in Gold Rush California, by R. M. Lapp; and A History of Black Americans in California, a National Park Service website.


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NKAA Source: Blacks in Gold Rush California

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Kentucky Ridge, Nevada County, California,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 16, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-11-06 18:25:00