José Manuel Ramirez came to Marysville from Chile in 1849, bringing with him John Sampson and about 30 other men, whom he put to work mining for gold. That same year, he purchased part of Theodor Cordua's ranch from Charles Julian Covillaud. He also once owned and lived in the house now known as The Castle. The town of Ramirez is named for him, as are Ramirez Street in Marysville and Ramirez Road in the town of Ramirez.