Spanish Flat was once one of the most important mining towns in what was known both as the Kelsey Township and the Kelsey Mining District. It was located on the Placerville to Georgetown stage road (now Highway 193), about six miles south of Georgetown, north of Kelsey, and near another early mining town known as American Flat.
Its name is derived from the fact that it was first settled by Spaniards, which is the term loosely applied to the Mexican citizens who were in California when it was ceded to the United States (Californios) and also those miners that came from almost any of the countries in Central and South America.
The name of this town is known world-wide because of a single daguerreotype (photograph) entitled, “Miners at Spanish Flat, El Dorado County”, that appears in nearly every book about the Gold Rush. Attributed to an early photographer name Joseph Blaney Starkweather, the often printed photo shows four miners, two of whom are black, working together in what appears to be conditions of equality. The original of this photo is kept at the California State Library and was prominently on display at the Oakland Museum’s Sesquicentennial of the Gold Rush exhibition a few years ago. It is believed to have been taken in 1852.
The richest early diggings around Spanish Flat were close to the town, at a claim first worked by the “Spanish” miners. Later this claim was known as the “Frazier Claim” or “Deep Hole”, and was worked by a group known as M. S. Frazier & Co., that consisted of John Kennedy, George Hunsucker, Amos Blundell and John Hunsucker.
Together, this group was able to remove over $100,000 of gold, which is a large amount, since at the time gold was valued at around $16 an ounce.