About Colusa County

History: Colusa County was established in 1850 as one of the original 27 counties created by the first state legislature. It once encompassed all of what is now Glenn County and a portion of Tehama County. In 1891, the counties of Glenn and Colusa were split. Records prior to 1891 are still maintained in Colusa County and those pertaining to Glenn County, after the split, can be found at the Glenn County Recorder's Office.

Where we are located: Colusa is centrally located approximately 70 miles north of Sacramento. Interstate 5 offers a north/south route through the county. We are about:

  • 2.5 hours from Lake Tahoe
  • One hour from downtown Sacramento
  • Three hours from the Fort Bragg-Mendocino coastline
  • Two hours from San Francisco


Colusa County Cities and Towns

Incorporated Cities:

  • Colusa - named for the Colusi Indian Tribe in 1850.
  • Williams - named for W. H. Williams in 1873.

Towns and Communities:

  • Arbuckle - named for Tacitus R. Arbuckle, landowner in that area, in 1875.
  • College City - so-named when Pierce Christian College located in that area in 1876 on land willed to the college by Andrew Pierce. The college left in 1896 and there has been no college in College City ever since.
  • Grand Island is so-called to designate the land lying between Sycamore Slough and the Sacramento River, named in the early-1850s.
  • Grimes, a village on Grand Island, founded and named by Cleaton Grimes in 1855.
  • Leesville, named in 1873 for Leander Washington Harl, a Mexican-American War veteran who also was Justice of the Peace, 1869-1871, for the Leesville area.
  • Lodoga, sometimes spelled Ladoga, was named by unknown individuals, circa 1898, and the origin of the name itself is unknown.
  • Maxwell, formerly Occident, named for George Maxwell in 1878, after Maxwell donated land for a railroad line.
  • Princeton, formerly Ket-tee, named by Dr. Andrew Lull after his alma mater in 1855.
  • Sites, named for John H. Sites, an area landholder, by Carl E. Grunsky in 1887.
  • Stonyford, sometimes spelled Stony Ford and formerly called Smithville, used to be situated on Stony Creek, about where the Stonyford School stands today. Smithville was so-named by John L. Smith, its founder and local landowner. Smithville was "bodily moved" to its present location, building by building, and renamed Stonyford in 1890 by H. C. Stilwell.

For additional information about towns and communities (including defunct settlements), follow this link.


Colusa County Transportation

Major Highways
Image showing major highways

Public Transportation:
Buses from Colusa to Williams, Arbuckle, Grimes and College City, with limited service to Maxwell.

Colusa County Airport is a general-aviation airport located near the City of Colusa.


Neighbor Counties

Official County links:
Map Showing Colusa and Neighboring Counties (image)

GenWeb Links:
Glenn County CA Lake County CA Yolo County CA Butte County CA Sutter County CA Colusa County CA