Sunday, May 15, 2011

Marshall Monument

El Dorado County August 29, 1993

Here stands the poster child for California state landmarks, and the cover illustration for the state’s book on the subject. It has been said that he’s pointing in the wrong direction, but then again, its more about the statement and the importance of this gold discovery to the degree that they built this monument 120 years ago. Unlike the many thousands to follow, Marshall wasn’t looking for gold.   


The monument is made of granite and is thirty-one feet tall, and on top of that is the ten foot six-inch tall bronze statue of James Marshall. J. Marion Wells designed it, and it was cast in San Francisco. It was erected by an Act of the Legislature, in May of 1890 at a cost of $5,000. James Wilson Marshall is buried beneath the monument, making this a heck of a gravestone for a guy that died broke.


California's shortest highway

State Route 153 (SR 153) is a very short state highway in the U.S. state of California in El Dorado County. It estends only 0.5 miles from the junction of Cold Springs Road and SR 49, in the town of Coloma in the heart of California's Gold Country, to the monument marking the grave of James Marshall, whose discovery of gold along the American River, January 24, 1848 sparked the California Gold Rush. -Wikipedia


Plaque inscription: NO. 143 MARSHALL MONUMENT - In 1887 the State of California purchased the site for a monument to commemorate James Marshall, who in 1848 discovered gold near Coloma. Marshall's discovery started the 'gold rush,' that westward trek of Argonauts that marked a turning point in California history. The figure of Marshall atop the monument is pointing to the place of discovery on the South Fork of the American River.
Location: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Coloma
Google maps: 38.800169,-120.89202


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