COLOMA, Calif. Jerrie Beard, Sept. 29, 2023 – Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park (SHP) in Coloma is pleased to announce the return of Coloma Gold Rush Live! The public is invited to experience California’s rich Gold Rush history at this live event on Friday and Saturday, October 13-14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, October 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. During this 3-day event, park staff and volunteers transform the park into an 1850s tent town where visitors can get a taste of what life was like in Coloma in 1850.
Some of the event activities include:
- Check for letters from home at the General Delivery or post a missive to family back east.
- Visit the miners at the river and stake your claim at the Claims Office.
- Stop by the General Store to stock up on provisions.
Visit the laundry for a clean shirt and the tonsorial for a shave.
- Hands-on activities for the kids include tin punching, journaling, and period games.
- Visit the saloon for liquid refreshment, or the BBQ for a little sustenance.
Coloma Gold Rush Live! is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Gold Discovery Park Association. Admission to the event is $15 per vehicle, which includes parking. For more information call (530) 622-3740 or visit parks.ca.gov/MarshallGold. Please note: This is a dog-free event except for service dogs.
Marshall Gold Discovery SHP is located in Coloma, California, on Highway 49, eight miles north of Placerville and 18 miles south of Auburn, only one hour from Sacramento.
In 1848, Marshall found shining flecks of gold in the tailrace of the sawmill he was building in partnership with John Sutter. The discovery in present-day Coloma sparked California’s famous gold rush and led to the greatest voluntary mass migration of people in the Western Hemisphere.
The town of Coloma’s name is derived from a Native American word, Cullumah, meaning “beautiful valley.” California Native Americans were the majority labor force initially involved in gold mining. Some of the first people traveling from abroad to reach the gold fields around Coloma were experienced miners from Sonora, Mexico, and South America. Those traveling from even further distances to reach the gold fields included people from Australia, Asia, and across Europe. Coloma developed into a supply hub for the region’s gold mining operations for several decades and managed to survive the boom and bust of most other townsites. Generations of settlers, including German, Swiss, Italian, Chinese, and African American families, made long-lasting contributions to the town’s continued prosperity with their businesses and agricultural enterprises. All these efforts helped keep Coloma alive long after miners had moved on to other opportunities.
State Parks continues to expand its interpretation of the consequential changes to California from the historic gold discovery here at Marshall Gold Discovery SHP. Today’s efforts involve engaging in formal government-to-government tribal consultations, conducting archival research, and meeting with families whose history is connected to the Coloma Valley. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/MarshallGold.