Travel anywhere in Northern California and you can't help but discover remnants, reminders, and sites dedicated to preserving the history of the California Gold Rush.
California gold was discovered along the American River one icy cold January day in 1848 by James Marshall at the lumber mill that John Sutter had commissioned.
That discovery was like the shot heard round the world that signaled the start of the American Revolution - but instead of a war, Sam Brannan's shout, "Gold! Gold! Gold on the American River!" started a stampede. Would-be Argonauts scrambled to reach California, and new camps sprouted throughout the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Today, those camps have grown into towns and cities that pay tribute to the past, preserving Gold Rush era buildings, cemeteries, mines and more.
Journey to any of these popular California Gold Rush towns; you'll delight in historic buildings, old mines, living history encounters, Gold Rush museums, and cemeteries steeped in history.
This article is the first in a series of articles about exploring and reliving California's Gold Rush history by visiting historic Gold Rush towns.