Formerly known as Cave Valley, Cool is a small unincorporated community in El Dorado County with a population of 2,520, about 40 miles from the state capital in Sacramento and just across the American River from the city of Auburn.
Penobscot Public House, established in 1850, was a way station and stage coach stop during the Gold Rush, and the Penobscot Ranch, a historic site, including the house built during the Gold Rush along with the barn built in 1923, can be viewed by driving down Highway 193 four miles outside from the business center of Cool. The first post office was established in 1885.
There is no clear record of how the town came to be called Cool. Some locals believe that a beatnik named Todd Hausmancoined 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.
Cool offers residents and visitors alike the opportunity to enjoy a peaceful rural residential environment. There are several small restaurants, and the Auburn State Recreational Area, which is open to the public for hiking and horse back riding.
There are many points of interest close by to visit: Sutter’s Mill, James Marshall’s Monument of 1889, the Gold Discovery Museum and the famous Bayley House which is a classic example of architecture during the Gold Rush.