From Timber to GOLD

By
Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

Let's imagine for a second that you have a vantage point from space so you can gaze back at Earth.  And pretend you have a GPS system in your hands as you punch in coordinates, 38N 48' 00", 120W 53' 00."  While you are being transported to the designated location, clock numbers are moving backward in time.

When the journey ends, you find yourself standing in a remote area of the South Fork of American River in a valley which the Southern Maidu Indian people know as "Cullumah," 

The date is January 24th 1848 and your name is James W. Marshall.  You have just noticed several flakes of metal in the tailrace water of a sawmill that you have been building, AND you know the metal is GOLD.

What you don't yet know, is your discovery will act as catalyst to the greatest mass movement of people in the Western Hemisphere, and begin the growth of the West.   "Cullumah" in the future will become known as "Coloma" - and your event will be logged in history as "The California Gold Discovery and Gold Rush."


Coloma Gold Discovery State Park

In the year 2011, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, sits approximately 40 miles or so from Sacramento.  A number of historical buildings are within the park, as well as the Marshall Sawmill pictured in the slideshow above.  The Sawmill was a joint venture for the interests of James Marshall and John Sutter (Sutter's Fort).  Sutter had obtained land grants which required lumber for building in Sacramento - downriver from Coloma.  There were many tall pine trees to be milled in the vicinity of Coloma.

The life of James Marshall presented many facets in the coming years after his gold discovery at Coloma.  He never "struck it rich."  In the following year (1849), aggressive Oregon gold-miners entered into an ugly dispute with the native Indian Nisenan.  The Indians were murdered, and Marshall had to flee for his life.  After a number of years, he returned to Coloma, where in lived in a hillside cabin, raised grapes and made a little wine, but lived in poverty.  He died in nearby Kelsey in 1885.

The area has easy parking, and delightfully shaded picnic grounds, which make for a perfect family outing. 

For more information and history you can access: "California Parks Marshall Gold Discovery Brochure."

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  1. Lisa Wetzel 07/08/2011 11:04 AM
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Comments 15 New Comment

Rainmaker
1,067,252
Myrl Jeffcoat
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
GreatWest Realty

Emelyn - Thank you for your kind comments!

Richard - Your comment made me laugh out loud.  Not because it's outrageous, but because it is true.  At first you think about the raucous wild wild west, which meant the fastest gun was justice.  But in comparison to today's street gangs, they were tame. . .LOL  When I looked at the size of some of those Coloma cabins, I realized it didn't take a whole lot to keep a family happy.  Times in many ways were much simpler.  The only public buildings in addition to merchantile and the blacksmith, were an equal number of bars to churches:-)

July 08, 2011 09:41 PM
Ambassador
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Judi K Barrett
Broker/Owner, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDAB
Judi Barrett~Integrity Real Estate Services~Idabel, Oklahoma

I think Rich has it!  That has to be the comment of the day that I've read.  :)  Nice post on the park, Myrl.  I would love to visit it.

July 08, 2011 09:43 PM
Ambassador
1,223,568
William Johnson
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE
RE/MAX Associates

Hi Myrl, Maybe it is the pioneer in me but somehow there is this feeling that one day, the largest gold find in America will be right here in CA, once again.

While the recent discovery of treasure in India reveals no less than 20 billion dollars in valuable artifacts, I think CA will once again strike it rich in gold. 

 

July 09, 2011 02:32 AM
Ambassador
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Karen Kruschka
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"
RE/MAX Real Estate Connections

Myrl  Your story spinning ability matches you photographic skill - beautifully done

July 09, 2011 11:58 AM
Rainmaker
1,067,252
Myrl Jeffcoat
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
GreatWest Realty

Judi - I liked Richard's comment too.  There are news stories about criminals grabbing gold jewelry from the necks of folks just out walking around.  That's not the kind of second Gold Rush we need to help with our problems. 

William - I think it will too!  There is one thing that California has which is considered treasure.  The commodity is INNOVATION.  If we can just tap into that once again, and feed it some good vitamins we might get this bird to fly again!

Karen - Thank you for your nice words, Kind Lady!

July 09, 2011 09:41 PM
Rainmaker
1,067,252

Myrl Jeffcoat

Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
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