The Knight's Ferry district is in northeastern Stanislaus County and western Calaveras County. The town is located on the lower Stanislaus River about 12 miles east-northeast of Oakdale.
The district was placer-mined during the gold rush. The town, which was named for William Knight, was an important staging and supply center for the mines and camps of the southern Mother Lode region. It was the seat of Stanislaus County government from 1862 to 1872. The town also was once known as Dentville for the Dent brothers who were brothers-in-law of President U. S. Grant. The old wooden covered bridge that is still standing was reportedly designed by Grant in 1854. From the 1870s through the 1890s, numerous Chinese placer miners reworked the old tailings and small deposits overlooked by the Forty-Niners. There was dragline dredging in the district in the 1930s and early 1940s.
The east portion of the district is underlain by greenstone and quartz porphyry and the western portion by andesite. The gold was recovered from isolated patches of quartz-rich gravel of Eocene age, younger channel and terrace deposits buried under or adjacent to the Plio-Pleistocene latite of Tuolumne Table Mountain, and Recent gravels in and along the present channel of the Stanislaus River.
Taliaferro, N. L., and Solari, A. J., 1948, Geology of the Copperopolis quadrangle: California Div. of Mines Bull. 145, plates 1 and 2.
Watts, W.L., 1890, Stanislaus County, gold: California Min. Bur. Rept. 10, p. 681.