The newspapers touted it as “the wondrous gold region” and that the gold was “inexhaustible”. Word of such instant riches spread quickly and soon miners were pouring into California, at first from Oregon, Hawaii, and Latin America. Then, as the story goes, a whaler returned to Provincetown, MA, with $7.5M in gold dust. Overnight the rush was on and soon 300,000 wide-eyed men and women were feverishly scouring the hills, rivers, and valleys of the Sierra Nevada mountains for California gold.
“During the gold rush it’s a good time to be in the pick and shovel business.” — Mark Twain
With so many Gold Rush reminders in Auburn’s backyard, you’ll have lots of choices to explore this interesting time in United States history. The aptly named Gold Rush Museum has great hands-on exhibits and even has a mining tunnel, but you won’t want to miss Sutter’s Sawmill, the place where gold was first discovered in California. The Golden State had to get its name from somewhere…and, who knows, there may still be golden nuggets in “them thar hills.”