Gold Towns: Folsom

Following the gold discovery in 1848, numerous mining camps sprang up along the American River. One of these was Negro Bar, first mined by African Americans in 1849. In 1855 the town of Granite City was laid out on that site by Army Captain Joseph Libbey Folsom. Having arrived in California in 1847 for the Continue reading Gold Towns: Folsom

The Sacramento Valley Railroad

From the early 1800s New England boasted railroads, factories, and telegraph lines–but prior to the Gold Rush, California was a pastoral land with none of these hallmarks of civilization. The first railroad west of the Mississippi was the Sacramento Valley Railroad, officially opened for passenger and freight transport in Continue reading The Sacramento Valley Railroad

The Pioneers: Theodore Judah

Theodore Dehone Judah was the brilliant engineer and visionary who convinced a group of merchants, and the United States Congress, that it was possible to build a railroad across the razorback spine of the Sierra Nevada. His dream was the 19th century equivalent of today’s Space Program. Born in 1826 in Continue reading The Pioneers: Theodore Judah