Embraced (and purchased) by locals, this concise history is lauded as the only authentic history of Cambria available. Ninety-six pages long and rich with historical photos and a full-color watercolor cover, Cambria is a must for anyone planning a visit to this unique California town.

Beginning with its tribes and first written observations by explorers, Cambria's history was shaped by its nearby mission and Mexican ranchos.  The early arrival of gold-rich George Hearst also set the stage for the important role the Hearsts were to play throughout Cambria's development. 

When quicksilver was found in the nearby hills, hopes for wealth soared and, for a brief time, Cambria was a vibrant boomtown, brimming with optimistic miners. Soon, though, citizens settled into their more normal, sustainable lives nurturing Cambria's growing importance as a diarying center.

Plagued by the isolation caused by poor roads, a railroad that went only to San Luis Opispo, and a coastline too rough for a good commercial wharf,  Cambria remained a small, rural center - which is exactly what makes this fascinating town so appealing to tourists and residents today. 

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Buy paperback: Barnes & Noble ($8.95)