Drytown was the first community established in northern Amador County, and the first in which gold was discovered. It took its name from Dry Creek, which runs dry during the summer. However, it was certainly not "dry", as stories tell of there being up to 26 saloons, of which just one remains, The Drytown Club.
The gold started to peter out by 1857 and when a fire destroyed most of the town that year, most of its inhabitants packed up and moved to more successful mines elsewhere in the county. The town was only saved by the construction of State Route 49, which went through it, in 1920.