History and Map

The county took its name from Mariposa Creek, which was so named by Spanish explorers in 1806, when they discovered a great cluster of butterflies (“mariposas” in Spanish and Portuguese) in the foothills of the Sierras.

Mariposa County was one of the original counties of California, created at the time of statehood in 1850. Mariposa County is known as the “Mother of Counties.” It began as the state’s largest county, territory was ceeded over time: FresnoInyoKernKingsLos AngelesMaderaMercedMonoSan BenitoSan BernardinoSan Luis Obispo, and Tulare. Mariposa County is known as the “Mother of Counties.”

Charles Fremont moved the county seat from Agua Fria to Mariposa in 1854, resulting in the construction of the Mariposa County Courthouse.

Mariposa County is located at the southern end of California’s Mother Lode region. One of the beneficiaries of this wealth was the famed explorer and 1856 Republican presidential candidateJohn Charles Frémont.

State Historical Landmarks