We recently visited Hornitos, a small gold rush era town located on county road J-16 in Mariposa County, Hornitos has largely been bypassed by the modern world. There are no gas stations, fast food outlets, or shopping centers.
Can you imagine doing this twice a month during the winter? Travel 90 miles from Placerville, California to Genoa, Nevada; crossing the Sierra Nevada mountains carrying a bag between 50 to 100 pounds in weight strapped to your back.
In the southern part of the Mother Lode region lies Bear Valley, a once busy mining town 12 miles northwest of Mariposa on Highway 49. It was headquarters for John C. Fremont's gold mining empire in the mid-1850s. At its peak, approximately 3000 people lived here.
The California gold rush was an international event attracting gold seekers from around the world. The first large wave of Chinese immigrants to the United States came during the gold rush. Many towns had a “Chinatown,” a section where the Chinese lived and had their businesses.
When the topic of California's hard rock gold mining comes up, most people think of the large mines, such as the Empire Mine in Grass Valley, or the Argonaut and Kennedy Mines in Jackson. Actually, there were many small, independently owned, hard rock gold mines.
I was excited to find what remained of the gold rush era Swerer's Store when we first visited the Tuttletown area in 1975. We found portions of the front and a side stone wall standing, and we made this image from what had been the store’s interior.
Did you know that the United States once had an emperor? No, not the King of England. Not in pre-colonial days. We're not talking about George Washington or any of the founding fathers. No, it was more recent than you may think.
Coloma Gold Rush Live is a reenactment of an 1850’s gold mining encampment. Visitors will step back in time to a vibrant and bustling tent town rubbing elbows with miners, gamblers, a doctor, a pharmacist, pioneer cooks, musicians, and more.