Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park


This is where the whole thing started, on January 24, 1848. James Marshall, in the process of building a lumber mill to supply building materials to John Sutter for the settlement that would become Sacramento, plucked some gold nuggets out of the tailrace (the stream that carries water away from a mill). The two men decided to keep the discovery a secret, but to no avail. Soon the word was out, and it seemed the whole world was on its way in to find the mother lode. The site of Marshall's discovery and about 70 percent of the surrounding town of Coloma is now preserved as a state historic park. A full-sized replica of the mill (the vandalized ruins of the original were destroyed in an 1850s flood), a miner's cabin, an old schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, and the Wah Hop Chinese store are some of the buildings on display. Other attractions include the Gold Discovery Museum, a monument to James Marshall, and several picnic grounds. You can try your hand at panning gold in the creek, right across from the mill. The park is open daily from 8 AM to sunset with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day; the buildings are open from 10 AM to 3 PM. Admission is $5 per vehicle.


310 Back St
Coloma, CA 95613


38.79946000, -120.89069000
Visit Website
(530) 622-3470

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