As gold deposits petered out in the Sierra foothills, prospectors who flooded California in 1849 fanned out, many coming south. Despite the harsh environment of modern day Joshua Tree Park, 300 mines were established within the park’s bounds. While most mines in Joshua Tree were poor producers, Lost Horse Mine was an exception: 10,000 ounces…
Eagle Mining Co. preserves two of the region’s few remaining gold mines open to the public. For $10, visitors enjoy a 1-hour guided tour of the conjoined Eagle and High Peak Mines.
The Wall Street Mill is the finest example of a gold processing mill still standing in Joshua Tree National Park. The two-stamp mill was erected on the outskirts of the scenic Wonderland of Rocks and continues to be accessible to visitors by an easy hiking trail.
The story of Henry Hancock is one of the few who left the California gold mines richer than when he entered and who turned his gold to even greater success which is immortalized today.
Placer county is one of many local governments in the California foothills that was born out of the mass population influx and wealth of the California Gold Rush. The land that became Auburn, within Placer County, was first settled in May 1848 and became a transportation hub for neighboring gold mining operations. Even today, there are over…
Our last post revolved around the collection of gold and gold history in the Wells Fargo Museum. These riches draw more than just the attention of those hungry for knowledge. Whether it was stage coach robbers or modern thieves, Wells Fargo has had its share of thefts.
The Wells Fargo Museum was formed to celebrate the history of the Wells Fargo bank. Yet, such a legacy is so tightly tied to California gold that many of the displays are devoted to the shinny stuff. While the museum occupies a small section of street in San Francisco’s Financial District, it is packed with gold nuggets, gold dust, and gold history.
Gold can be found in unusual places. One such place is the Ironstone Vineyards estate, which is home to the world’s largest piece of crystalline gold leaf, weighing in at 44 lbs. The “Gold Pocket” was discovered on December 24, 1992, at the Sonora Mining Co. mine in Jamestown, California. The gold was originally 66 lbs, however, when it was purchased by the Ironstone Vineyards owner, John Kautz, it was etched to remove the extra, visible quartz leaving behind a 98% pure piece. The piece is now suspended inside a vault safe that visitors may walk into and view during regular operating hours.
While mining may be dirty work, sometimes, there is a time for the finer things. The Crocker Art Museum has a massive collection of early California art, much of which is inspired by—and often funded by those who profited from—the gold rush. Located only a few blocks from Old Town Sacramento and the Sacramento History…
While most think of San Francisco or Los Angeles as California’s major cities, back in the days of the Gold Rush, Sacramento was not only the state capitol but a major hub, blossoming with nugget-fueled commerce. The Sacramento History Museum devotes a large portion of their displays to gold rush era Sacramento and its environs. Along with many impressive gold nuggets, visitors can view water canons, assayers scales, and the everyday equipment of miners.