Gold Towns: Sierra City

The majestic, jagged granite peaks of the Sierra Buttes rise almost a mile above the town. In Gold Rush days even these near-perpendicular peaks were climbed in search of gold, and there was feverish activity along the creeks that descend into the North Yuba River. The site was discovered in 1850. By 1852, tunnels Continue reading Gold Towns: Sierra City

Gold Towns: Shasta City

A gold discovery here in the spring of 1849 sparked a rush to the site. Men coming south from Oregon, as well as from Mother Lode locales in California’s eastern foothills, set up camp. By October a tent city of more than 500 was spread under the oaks. But Shasta City, as it was first known, was the entrance to the rich Continue reading Gold Towns: Shasta City

Gold Towns: San Francisco

In January 1847, the little coastal hamlet of Yerba Buena changed its name to San Francisco. At the time, it perhaps had 500 residents, several of whom were maritime merchants. A year later, gold was discovered at Coloma some 140 miles inland. The effect on the mud-brick village was electric. A flood of treasure seekers Continue reading Gold Towns: San Francisco

Gold Towns: Sacramento

Gold created Sacramento, although the precious metal wasn’t embedded in its soil. In early 1848, the only structure of any importance or substance in the entire Sacramento Valley was John Sutter’s trading post two miles east of the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers, just 40-odd miles distant from Continue reading Gold Towns: Sacramento

Gold Towns: Rough & Ready

It was one of the first mining towns in Nevada County, founded in September 1849 by the Rough and Ready Mining Company of Wisconsin—whose leader had served under “Old Rough & Ready” General Zachary Taylor in the Mexican-American War. For several months the company was able to keep the richness of Continue reading Gold Towns: Rough & Ready