The Gold Country

The Gold Country, also called the Motherlode, runs along the western foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. It's where most of the gold was discovered and mined during the Gold Rush era. The Gold Rush began in 1849 with the discovery of gold at the tail race of Sutter's Mill in Coloma on the American River by John Marshall. The people who rushed out to California during that time to find their fortunes in the rivers and rocks of the Sierran foothills were called the "49'ers." Highway 49, appropriately-named, is the main highway through this area and snakes for 200 miles along the rolling and sometimes rugged foothills of the Western Sierras. Here are some sights to see along the way:

Bourn Cottage
Bourn Cottage, Empire Mine State Historic Park, Grass Valley

Statue of miner in Auburn
Statue of miner in downtown Auburn
Gold Bug Mine
Gold Bug Mine in Bedford Park, Placerville

Gold Discovery Site, Coloma
Actual site of John Marshall's disovery of gold in Sutter's Mill's tailrace, Coloma

California Caverns
Rock formations at California Caverns (little Buddha at lower right)

Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, between Amador City and Volcano

Kennedy Tailing Wheels
Kennedy Tailing Wheels, Jackson

Stagecoach at Columbia State Historic Park
Stagecoach ride at Columbia State Historic Park

Mine Model, California Mining Museum
Model of mining equipment, California State Mining and Mineral Museum, Mariposa

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Ron Horii, San Jose
Created 10/9/97. Last update: 11/13/97