Gold was discovered on the slopes of the Kamma Mountains in the 1870s by a group of four men and their leader, Mahogany Jack. They recovered $30,000 using limited placer operations. After 1880, several others tried to work the area. Ore was taken to shakers at Rabbithole Springs, until water from Cow Creek was brought to Placerites in 1890.

The Newmont Mining Co. began operations in 1929 on 4000 acres. They built a large reservoir, tanks, and a dragline scraper here. Placerites then had a store and a speakeasy. All work ended by the mid 1940s. The camp was also variously known as Placeritos and Placeritas.