Gold dredger history

Back in the middle of last November I published a post about gold dredgers in Yuba County — but it wasn’t too many decades past that we had dredgers operating on the lower American River, including the area of what is now Lake Natoma. Along the river’s course, anywhere you find heaping piles of rounded cobble laid out in long […]

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Marshall monument

It’s a steep climb up to (and then back down from) the James Marshall monument in Coloma, although there are a few different routes to choose from. If you’d rather not trek the full 3-mile dirt loop from Highway 49 to the top of the hill and back, you can take a car up the paved switchbacks of Marshall Park […]

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Marshall’s cabin

James Marshall really was one unlucky guy. All he wanted to do was work hard at his trade as a carpenter and millwright; but after he accidentally uncovered a small piece of gold in the American River his life was turned upside down. He no longer had the chance to work, and he never managed to profit from the historic […]

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Chinese stores

When I first visited the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park as a young schoolkid, I was especially fascinated by the two small buildings known as the Chinese Stores. I think it was partly because these two small buildings are authentic structures from the 1850s, not replicas. I liked to imagine the Chinese miners going in and out of the […]

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Quiet history

The men and women who built St John’s Catholic Church and worshipped there, who now lie buried in the adjoining cemetery, most likely were never famous. Although their names may never be found in the history books, they created a community in the town of Coloma — and in their own ways, quietly helped shape the course of the events […]

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