171 Years Today

Today marks the 171st anniversary of the gold discovery in California. The discoverer was a carpenter named James Wilson Marshall, who was building a sawmill on the South Fork of the American River for his employer, John Sutter. The pair tried to keep the discovery a secret until the mill was finished—but word soon got out. The California Gold Rush, which drew thousands from all over the globe and energized the world’s economy, effectively began in May 1848.

Bitter Endings

James Wilson Marshall, the renowned discoverer of California gold, never profited from his find.  For a time he retained a one-third interest in the sawmill he had originally built for John Sutter,  until a series of altercations with miners, and lawsuits filed by his new sawmill partners, forced him to sell his other real estate Continue reading Bitter Endings

The Pioneers: James Marshall

James Wilson Marshall was a skilled carpenter, wagon-maker and general jack-of-many-trades who spent his early adult life in Missouri before ill health convinced him to move to the West Coast. Going first to Oregon Territory in 1844 (where he found the winters too wet for his liking) he arrived in the Sacramento Continue reading The Pioneers: James Marshall