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Cool, California facts for kids

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Cool is located in California
Location in California
Cool is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Country United States
State California
County El Dorado County
1,532 ft (467 m)
 • Total 4,100
Cool, Calif sign

Cool, formerly known as Cave Valley, is a small town in El Dorado County, California, about 40 miles (64 km) from Sacramento, the state capital. Cool is at an elevation of 1,532 feet (467 m).

The population is 4,100 according to the 2010 census and is contained within the area code 530 with a ZIP code of 95614.


It is built on State Route 49 between Auburn and Placerville on a hill at an elevation more than 1,500 feet (450 m) in an area full of trees, trails, camping, and other recreational activities.

The temperature ranges from 75° to 105°  Fahrenheit in the summer and 25° to 50°  Fahrenheit in the winter.


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Cool has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.


The first post office was established in 1885. Penobscot Public House, established in 1850, was a way station and stage coach stop during the days of the Gold Rush. The famous Penobscot Ranch still exists today. Today the historic site, including the house built during the days of the Gold Rush and the barn built in 1923, can be viewed by driving down Highway 193 four miles outside of the business center of Cool. Cool offers residents and visitors alike the opportunity to enjoy a peaceful rural residential environment, including small restaurants, as well as the Auburn State Recreational Area, which is open to the public for hiking and horsebackriding.

There is no clear record of how the town came to be called Cool. Some locals believe that a beatnik named Todd Hausman coined the name in early 1947 on a cross country road trip, and appended it to the town. However, some local historians claim that the town was named during the days of the Gold Rush after a man named Aaron Cool, though no records exist about him.

Jerry Pozo is a resident of Cool and a docent at Coloma State Historical Park who began researching the origin of Cool, CA in 2010. His research with the Chief Archivist of the Methodist Church, California History Library, and Huntington and Bancroft Libraries turned up a Reverend Peter Y. Cool whose mining career near Cave Valley was documented in his journal in Pacific Historian 10 (summer 1966 pages 19–42): Goodness Gold, and God, The California Mining Career of Peter Y. Cool 1851-52. He is the one and only itinerant preacher that shows up in El Dorado and Amador County records from 1850's-70s. Another local preacher from Placerville, Reverend C.C. Pierce was a preacher and lawyer who spoke fluent Latin and Hebrew. He may have called Peter - Brother Aaron, which means "of the mountains" and thus the confusion of the name of Aaron Cool. They are surely one and the same.


The Way Too Cool 50 Kilometer run starts and ends in the town in early March. It follows sections of the Western States Trail with more than a 7000 ft (2100 m) elevation change along its 31-mile length.


The Black Oak Mine Unified School District serves Cool. Cool currently has just one school - Northside STEAM School - catering for elementary (TK-6). Residents are zoned to Golden Sierra Junior Senior High School for 7-12 grades.

Until 2007 there was also another K-8 school in Cool, the Cool Christian School.

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