Gold Towns: Placerville

The great California Gold Rush began when news leaked of James Marshall’s discovery at Coloma in January 1848. Frenzied sailors, soldiers, settlers and merchants scrambled throughout the area, and by the summer of 1848 more than 1,000 men were working at a new camp initially called Old Dry Diggins, down the hill from Continue reading Gold Towns: Placerville

Gold Towns: Oroville

Some people believe that a treasure trove of gold still lies beneath the city’s streets, but the town would have to be destroyed before anyone could find out. Certainly there was gold in the gravels on the banks of the Feather River when the first prospectors came to the site in 1849, forming a mining camp there in 1850 named Continue reading Gold Towns: Oroville

Gold Towns: Nevada City

In the summer of 1848 James Marshall, the discoverer of gold at Coloma, decided to pan for gold at Deer Creek, a tributary of the Yuba River. He found a few grains; nothing phenomenal or even exciting, and went away disappointed. But the next year, reports told of miners who pulled a pound of gold a day from deposits Continue reading Gold Towns: Nevada City

Gold Towns: Mormon Island

Gold was discovered at Coloma in January 1848, during the process of building a sawmill for John Sutter. One of the sawmill crew members was a former Mormon Battalion member named James Bigler. He told his comrades, who were working farther downstream on Sutter’s new gristmill. In late February 1848, Levi Continue reading Gold Towns: Mormon Island