Applegate is an unincorporated community in Placer County, California. Located 7.25 mi south-southwest of Colfax, and 9.3 mi northeast of Auburn. The city’s elevation is 2,005 ft. Its ZIP code is 95703 and its area code 530.
Originally settled in 1849 by Lisbon Applegate, having come to California with his son, George, from Missouri. Part of a family who first emigrated to America in the 17th century, they bought acreage above Clipper Gap, CA and established a fruit ranch there. The main house of the Applegate Ranch was located where Oliver’s gas station and bar sits today. Lisbon eventually returned to Missouri but his son, George W. Applegate, stayed.
As the town grew it was called Bear River House due to its proximity to the Bear River, a short distance northwest. When a post office was established 1855, the community officially became known as Lisbon in honor of its founder. George W. Applegate became postmaster and in the 1870s, the settlement was renamed to Applegate also to honor its founder.
At one time, the town was a station on the Central Pacific Railroad (later Southern Pacific). When a second track was added in 1929, the station on the eastbound track was named East Applegate. The tracks are separated by about .25 mi.
From Placer GOLD, November 1973; “Applegate is a quiet little town about eight miles northeast of Auburn, rudely severed in two parts by Interstate 80. The town consists of a post office, motel, hardware store, grocery and saloon-and something else. The town has a Mediterranean climate that is characterized by cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers