In 1848, the year of the gold discovery, Steamboat Slough was referred to as the “Middle Fork” of the Sacramento River, winding among several islands in the Delta. As the Gold Rush brought thousands into the region, it became the preferred route over the “old river” because it was more than eight miles shorter and several hours less by steamship. Riverboat mishaps occurred from time to time. In 1850 local newspapers reported that an unnamed vessel carrying gold bars got stuck on a sandbar where it blew up and burned. In October 1854 the schooner Bianca lost 80 to 100 tons of cargo near Cache Creek, and in 1862 the paddle-wheeler Nevada sank at the mouth of Steamboat Slough while engaged in a race with the steamship New World.