Negro Bar, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

Negro Bar, located within the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, is historically important as the place where African American miners became the first to prospect the gravel bar in 1850. It became one of the larger gold camps along the American River. While African American community leaders and historians have supported the continued use of this name in the past, State Parks recognizes that such interpretations can change over time and welcomes continued feedback from the public.

In response to comments received in 2018, the department has undertaken a review to better understand the public’s perspective about the name and its continued relevance. At this time, a formal recommendation on the name change has not been submitted to the US Board on Geographic Names. However, State Parks has held multiple meetings with stakeholders and continues to work its way through the process. One of the key takeaways from the stakeholder meetings is that interpretation, or lack thereof, is the largest factor in misunderstanding the name Negro Bar.  

When new names are considered, State Parks reviews the history of the area and tries to view names through the lens of thoughtfully capturing the place, its environment, and cultures and peoples associated with the area. A primary interest in these reviews is holding broad and open discussions with scholars, visitors, activists, and families to understand perspectives and gain a wider understanding of the name’s usage and how it may impact the visitor experience and all citizens who come in contact with the name.

We invite the public to email us at to receive information about future public input opportunities.