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Gold Country

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      Read the Gold Rush Chronicles

The history of El Dorado County is fairly recent and really quite colorful. In the online book, Gold Rush Chronicles, you can read about the historic gold discovery in Coloma, Old Hangtown, the Hangtown Fry, the famous (and infamous!), the Mother Lode mines from Sierra County to Mariposa, and learn all about the glistening metal that turned good men from their loving homes to the muddy gold fields of California.

Here is an excerpt from the Gold Rush Chronicles that gives an introduction to this region's past:

Top of pageOn January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold at a sawmill in Coloma that he was constructing for John Sutter, a wealthy land developer in the Sacramento Valley.

Top of pageThe Fort & The Mill
Sutter's empire was headquartered at Sutter's Fort near the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers in the Sacramento Valley, but his ambition prompted him to enter into a partnership with a carpenter named James Marshall to build a mill in the foothills so that timber might be floated down the American River to his river-front property in the valley and be used to expand his domain. Marshall would supply the expertise and Sutter would pick up the tab.

During the mill's construction, the workers diverted the river each night through the manmade ditch, or tailrace, under the mill to help deepen it. When construction resumed in the morning, the flow would be stopped for the day.

Top of pageIt's Gold!
One winter day, while inspecting the previous night's progress on the tailrace... Read more...

Top of pageOf Interest
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
Native Californians
History of Lake Tahoe

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