Fiddletown (from 1878 to 1932, Oleta) is a census-designated place in Amador County, California. It lies at an elevation of 1683 feet (513 m). It is located at 38°30′14″N 120°45′20″W. The town is registered as a California Historical Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NPS-78000655). The community is in ZIP code 95629 and area code 209. Fiddletown's population was 235 at the 2010 census.
The town was first settled by Missourians in 1849 and in the 1850s served as a trading center for a number of mining camps in the area. The town also had one of the largest Chinese communities in the state (over 2,000 in the 1860 census).
At the time of its founding, placer mining was the most popular mining technique, which is heavily dependent on water. The local water source, Dry Creek, ran dry during the summer months, during which time the miners were said to be "fiddling around," thus the name. However, one local citizen was embarrassed to be known as the "Man from Fiddletown" and successfully lobbied to have the name changed to Oleta (after his daughter) in 1878. After his death in 1932, town residents petitioned to have it restored to Fiddletown. Fiddletown has been noted for its unusual place name.
A post office first opened in Fiddletown in 1853.
There is also a Fiddletown in New South Wales, Australia.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Fiddletown had a population of 235. The population density was 50.7 people per square mile (19.6/km²). The racial makeup of Fiddletown was 215 (91.5%) White, 0 (0.0%) African American, 5 (2.1%) Native American, 1 (0.4%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 8 (3.4%) from other races, and 6 (2.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22 persons (9.4%).
The Census reported that 235 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 102 households, out of which 23 (22.5%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 55 (53.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 8 (7.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 9 (8.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2 (2.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 1 (1.0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 26 households (25.5%) were made up of individuals and 9 (8.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30. There were 72 families (70.6% of all households); the average family size was 2.75.
The population was spread out with 48 people (20.4%) under the age of 18, 12 people (5.1%) aged 18 to 24, 42 people (17.9%) aged 25 to 44, 78 people (33.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 55 people (23.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 51.6 years. For every 100 females there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.5 males.
There were 126 housing units at an average density of 27.2 per square mile (10.5/km²), of which 77 (75.5%) were owner-occupied, and 25 (24.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.4%. 174 people (74.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 61 people (26.0%) lived in rental housing units.
In the state legislature Fiddletown is in the 8th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Berryhill, and the 5th Assembly District, represented by Republican Frank Bigelow. Federally, Fiddletown is in California's 4th congressional district, represented by Republican Tom McClintock.
According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Fiddletown has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.
Leon "Whitey" Thompson (1923-2005), author and former inmate of Alcatraz.