Here's how it started. On a cool January day in 1848, less than a mile from American River Resort, James Marshall found a large gold nugget in the mill race of a sawmill his men were building for John Sutter. At the height of the Gold Rush that followed, over 10,000 people lived in Coloma hoping for fortune. Now, at the James Marshall Gold Discovery State Park you can step back in time and learn why California is the Golden State, and why there exists a Golden Gate. You can also try panning for gold yourself.
Here's how one tourist describes Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park:
"Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is synonymous with the foothill town of Coloma and its boundaries are almost indistinguishable. The park is the town and the town is the park...at least that's how it feels. Driving past the city limits sign, you are immediately thrust into the 1800s with an Indian trading post on one side and a blacksmith shop on the other. The Visitors' Center houses everything from an old stagecoach with its lockbox secured for valuable transports to a soy bean grinder that the Chinese miners used to make tofu during their tenure at the gold site. The displays run the gamut from dusty and authentic feeling to kitschy and informative." Camilla Mann
Learn more about the park at its official website.