SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As gold was discovered in California in the late 1840s, Sacramento drew a mass migration of miners, pioneers, and gold seekers. 

The population kept growing, leading to Sacramento County becoming incorporated in 1850 and making it one of the original 27 counties when California became a state. 

After the county was founded, the city of Sacramento, which serves as the county seat, became the capital of the Golden State in 1854. 

Before California became divided into 58 counties, the following were the state’s original 27 counties: 

  • Branciforte County (Now Santa Cruz County)
  • Butte County
  • Calaveras County
  • Contra Costa County
  • El Dorado County
  • Los Angeles County
  • Marin County
  • Mariposa County
  • Mendocino County
  • Monterey County
  • Napa County
  • Sacramento County
  • San Diego County
  • San Francisco County
  • San Joaquin County
  • San Luis Obispo County
  • Santa Barbara County
  • Santa Clara County
  • Santa Cruz County
  • Shasta County
  • Solano County
  • Sonoma County
  • Sutter County
  • Trinity County
  • Tuolumne County
  • Yuba County

Notable changes in county land

According to the California State Association of Counties, the state had 32 counties created after 1850, but many of them either added or lost land to another county. Since 1850, the only counties to not lose any land are Alameda, Alpine, Imperial, Madera, Modoc, Orange and Riverside. 

The counties that went through the most notable changes are Mariposa and San Diego counties, as both were at one time the largest in the state. When Mariposa County was founded, it was the largest of the original counties and has since lost land to 12 other counties.

The 12 counties that were at one time part of Mariposa County are: 

  • Fresno County
  • Inyo County
  • Kern County
  • Kings County
  • Los Angeles County
  • Madera County
  • Merced County
  • Mono County
  • San Benito County
  • San Bernardino County
  • San Luis Obispo County
  • Tulare County

As for territory in San Diego County, it has not gained any land since its inception. At one time, land in Imperial, Inyo, Riverside and San Bernardino counties was part of San Diego County’s territory.