The oldest part of Auburn is west of the courthouse along the Auburn Ravine supposedly where Claude Chana first found gold and earned his claim to local fame. His statue, made by the local Dr. Fox continues to welcome visitors to town at Maple Street and Interstate 80. Dr. Fox has other big statues around Auburn; his giant Chinese coolie at Lincoln and Highway 49 (towards Placerville), and his titans along Auburn Ravine road near Palm.
Near Claude is the historic old firehouse, the magnificent and restored County Courthouse and museum, and the crumbling Chinese section up on Sacramento Street. Antique stores, saloons, art galleries, and many popular restaurants are all within easy reach of one another.
Inside the Courthouse is a museum with a great display of Indian baskets and artifacts from the local area. Also a fascinating collection of prehistoric critters found in a limestone cave near the nearby confluence of the North and Middle Forks of the American River are displayed as part of the museum. See the Saber Toothed Tiger that local dentist Dr. Hawver found back in 1907. Also found were four Native American skeletons that have been carbon dated to 10,000 years ago. These are among the oldest people ever found in California. Apparently the Auburn area has supported human beings for a very long time.
Also, nearby along Auburn-Folsom near High street is the Bernhart Museum, showing a glimpse of what pioneering life was like in Auburn in the late 1800’s when it was a working farm with vineyards. It is a popular destination for school field trips for children learning about early Californian life.
Nearby on High Street the fairground has a museum that specializes in gold mining history from the Auburn area mines with many antique mining tools and techniques on display.