California’s Highway 49 is a golden chain that connects most of the mining towns that figured so prominently in the Gold Rush of 1849 and beyond. We continued our travels on this road and admired each town along the way. Some like Amador City have only a few hundred residents, while others like Jackson and Placerville boast as many as 10,000 residents.
|Tiny Amador City|
|Trading Post in Angel's Camp|
|Downtown Angel's Camp|
|Downtown San Andreas|
|Downtown Sutter Creek|
|Distinctive Brick Buildings|
|Beautiful Victorian-Era Houses|
The countryside along our route was equally lovely, with rolling green hills and a surprising number of vineyards. It really is a relatively unspoiled area.
|Fog Lingers Over the Rolling Hills|
|New Melones Reservoir|
We ended the day where the Gold Rush began. On January 24, 1848, in the Coloma Valley, James Marshall found flakes of gold in the millrace of the lumber mill he was constructing for John Sutter. The rest, as they say, is history. The Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma preserves the site where gold was first found and interprets the history of the Gold Rush in California. Many original buildings in the town have been preserved, and Sutter’s sawmill and other buildings have been reconstructed. It’s interesting to contemplate how this one simple event changed the course of California’s development.
|Sutter's Mill in Coloma|
|Tim Checks Out a Miner's Cabin in Coloma|
|Main Street in Coloma|