Sunday, February 16, 2014

Legend of California Gold Rush

All the states in US have nicknames. New York is Empire State. New Jersey is Garden State. California is Golden State. Its nickname came from the California Gold Rush in the history of US. California Gold Rush started on January 24, 1848, when a carpenter and sawmill operator, James Wilson Marshall (October 8, 1810 - August 10, 1885) discovered gold in Sutter's Mill in California. This discovery triggered more than three hundred thousand people in and out of United States of America rushed to Northern California. It set the nickname of California to be Golden State. Because the number of miners came to California reached its peak period in 1849, all minors were called "Forty-Niners". Later it became the name of San Francisco Football team.

It is about three hours drive to visit the original area of California Gold Rush. One can use Interstate 580 East, Interstate 205 East, Interstate 5 North, Route 99, and Route 88 to reach Sutter Creek. Just right before driving into the mining area, visitor can get a rest in downtown of Sutter Creek. California Gold Rush created people's movement to the West Coast and formed a period of Wild West. The downtown of Sutter Creek keeps appearance of days of gunmen.

Fifteen minutes drive takes him to the entrance of Gold Mines. The Mine is now only for sightseeing purpose. They are not digging gold any more. There are no flashy signs or Las Vegas style neon signs. However, since it is original entrance, a visitor should respect it as the testimony of the history. The gate shows "Mine Tour", but the entrance is small and old. The visitor should be careful not to overlook the entrance to the parking, since there are no direction signs to which the driver can refer.

The tour provides visitors a tram tour to the deep area of the mine. The inside of mine is lighted, but some parts are dim to be almost dark. There are area brightly lighted and have wax dolls showing days minors were working. Entering into the cave, the first thing one will see is a bird in a cage. Now in the Mine Tour, the person and the bird are imitation of wax dolls. It shows that they kept a bird to know when gas is spreading in the mine. The poor bird is the one first die to let minors know there is a danger of gas.

Although minors inside are wax dolls, they exhibit real machine tools and hardware. Many of them look heavy and awkward. Inside of the gold mine looks complicated structure. A visitor finds a deep straight down-hole after long gentle down slope continues for a distance. It shows that they did not have a specific plan of digging. They dug in the way the gold vein guided miners.

A guide tells the authority is estimating still two hundred million ounce gold lies underground. Now the visitor must answer the last question of the tour guide if he hopes to be a minor.

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