The
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Fast Facts


  • Gold was discovered January 24, 1848 by James Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma.

  • Gold was valued from $12.00 to $35.00 an ounce.

  • At one point, eggs (if any) were $3.00 each; whiskey was $16.00 a bottle, pills were $10.00 each without advice, $100 with.

  • California Highway 49 is the official Mother Lode trail of the 49'ers (the 1849'ers, that is!)

  • Types of mining included panning, sluicing, hydraulicking, hardrock or quartz mining, and dredging.
  • The world's largest nugget, the "Welcome Stranger", weighing in at 200 pounds, was found in Australia in 1869 by two men whose cart got stuck in a muddy road and had to remove a "large rock" (of solid gold!) that was in their way. Oh, those annoying obstacles....

  • The world's second largest gold nugget, and California's largest, was found at Carson Hill in Calaveras County in 1854. It weighed in at 160 pounds.

  • Three historic limestone caverns are located in Calaveras County: Moaning Caves in Vallecitos, Mercer Caverns at Murphys, and California Caverns at Cave City.

  • Amador City is the smallest incorporated city in America.

  • Historic D'Agostini's winery, in Shenandoah Valley near Plymouth, is the oldest in California.

  • The Mariposa Gazette is the oldest California newspaper in continued publication.

  • Hundreds of movies and television features about the Old West and the Gold Rush have been made in Tuolumne County, featuring the Railtown trains and the Sierra Railroad.

  • Bret Harte and Mark Twain made Tuolumne and Calaveras counties famous with their stories.

  • The deepest mines on the continent, the Kennedy and Argonaut mines at Jackson, produced more than half of the gold mined in the Mother Lode. Mining ceased there in 1958.

  • Knight's Foundry in Sutter Creek is the only existing water-powered foundry anywhere.

  • Gold Bug Mine in Placerville is the only municipally-owned hardrock mine in existence. Rare tours of quartz mining are available here.


GOLD RUSH COUNTIES:
MARIPOSA | TUOLUMNE | CALAVERAS | AMADOR | EL DORADO | PLACER | NEVADA | SIERRA




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