My family and I love to go on family adventures and lately we’ve been doing a lot of history related trips because that’s what I’m learning about in school. One of my favorite historical adventures was at the Coloma Living History Day at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park.
On January 24 1848 James W. Marshall was building a sawmill for Captain John Sutter. Marshall used water from the South Fork of the American River. He noticed little flakes of shine in the water and knew it was gold! Marshall tried to keep his gold discovery a secret, but the word of gold spread fast and started the California Gold Rush of 1849! After all the gold was gone, most tired miners headed home, but some took another look at California and liked what they saw! These pioneers came to see that the land produced many resources and California’s great wealth came from the farm land, not the mines!
To see what it was like during the gold rush, we went to one of the Living History Days in Coloma!
First, we explored different jobs. We learned how people cooked, hunted, traded, and made rope. We even got to make our own rope! Making rope is a lot of work. After you wind the rope, you have to take it to the blacksmith’s shop where he burns of all the fuzz off so the rope is usable smooth and usable!
Then, we visited two different weavers, watched them use the large weaving machines, and got to try weaving ourselves! It takes a long time to make a scarf, let alone a blanket! Next, we went to the animal skinner and we learned all about skinning animals and what people use the skins for. Hat makers use the skin to make sturdy hats that withstand all types of weather!
After learning about jobs, we visited several historical buildings including the old jail. We saw the saw mill where James Marshall discovered gold, and it was definitely bigger than I thought it would be!
Here are some photos from our day
Our historical journey through the gold rush was very exiting and we learned so much! I hope that we can do more trips like this :)