After gold was discovered in January 1848 at Coloma, the site of John Sutter’s sawmill-building project, crew-member Henry Bigler wrote to his fellow discharged Mormon Battalion friends who were erecting a grist (flour) mill for Sutter closer to Continue reading June Events: Mormon Island
When we think of the thousands of gold seekers who swarmed into California in 1849 from all over the globe, we usually imagine gruff-looking individuals with scraggly beards clad in sweat-soaked red flannel shirts. This general image is Continue reading Fancy Duds in Gold Towns
California’s gold rush inadvertently led to the discovery of the Sierra’s forest masterpiece: the Big Tree. In 1848 brothers John and Daniel Murphy, who had immigrated with the Stevens-Murphy-Townsend Party in 1844, worked Continue reading The Big Trees
Auburn was one of the earliest mining camps in California. Gold was discovered there May 16, 1848 by French native Claude Chana, a barrel-maker in the sometime employ of John Sutter. First known as North Fork Dry Continue reading Gold in Auburn!
Many a thief or murderer swung from the end of a rope in early California, but the greatest shame of quick-verdict lynchings in Gold Rush days was the hanging of a dance-hall girl named Juanita. She lived in Downieville, a thriving Continue reading July 4th at Downieville, 1851