Saturday, May 14, 2011

Gold Discovery Site

El Dorado County August 29, 1993

There are landmarks all over the place around here in Coloma and though most aren’t state markers, they’re worth a look.Nearby is ‘Gold Boys Gold’, ‘The Tailrace’. ‘Partners in History’, ‘James Marshall” (state), ‘Coloma Road’ (state), ‘Mormon Cabin’, ‘Sutter Mill Replica’, and ‘Sutter Mill Timbers.’ In fact, it seems like most structures in Coloma are landmarks of one kind or another, so as to keep them preserved for us all to see. The Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West put this discovery site marker up in the centennial year of 1948, and from the looks of it, they built it themselves, in quilting party fashion.

It’s a pet peeve, and this writer’s opinion that Francisco Lopez’ gold discovery in what is now Los Angeles  County at the ‘Oak of the Golden Dream’ in 1842 should be considered the true and original discovery of a substantial gold deposit in California. Ah, but that’s another story to be covered in a later dispatch from 1994….about 100 landmarks away.  

Plaque inscription: NO. 530 GOLD DISCOVERY SITE - This monument marks the site of John A. Sutter's sawmill. In its tail-race, on January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold and started great rush of Argonauts to California. The Society of California Pioneers definitely located and marked the site in 1924 - additional timbers and relics, including the original tailrace unearthed in 1947, were discovered after the property became a state park. The State erected the Marshall Monument overlooking this spot in 1890 through efforts begun in 1886 by the Native Sons of the Golden West. Location: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, follow trail from Gold Discovery parking lot to American River, State Hwy 49 (P.M. 23.3), Coloma
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: GARDEN VALLEY
Google maps: 38.804835,-120.902052

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