Shingle Springs like many of the other towns in California’s Mother Lode, Shingle Springs grew on the site of a mining camp set up by gold miners during the California Gold Rush, in this case a group of “49ers” who had followed the Carson-Emigrant Trail through Pleasant Valley, Nevada. It took its name from a horse-drawn shingle machine capable of producing 16,000 shingles a day that was located near the springs at the western edge of the camp. The Boston-Newton Joint Stock Association, which left Boston April 16, 1849, camped there the night before their arrival at Sutter’s Fort on September 27, after a remarkable journey across the continent. A rich store of written records preserved by these pioneers has left a detailed picture of the Gold Rush. As a result, the town is now designated California Historical Landmark #456.
The Shingle Spring post office operated from 1853 to 1855. The Shingle Springs post office opened in 1865, the name was changed to Shingle in 1895, and reverted in 1955.
The population was spread out with 1,031 people (23.3%) under the age of 18, 334 people (7.5%) aged 18 to 24, 874 people (19.7%) aged 25 to 44, 1,568 people (35.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 625 people (14.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.6 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.4 males.
There were 1,718 housing units at an average density of 208.6 per square mile (80.5/km²), of which 1,248 (76.7%) were owner-occupied, and 379 (23.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.2%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.2%. 3,343 people (75.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 1,001 people (22.6%) lived in rental housing units.