The last day of our Spring Break, we headed north to Coloma, CA & stopped in Marshall Gold Discovery Park to see Sutter's Mill. Sutter's Mill is where the first piece of gold was actually found in the CA mountains. It started the gold rush.
Taya was SO excited to tell us all about Sutter's Mill. Her 4th grade is putting on a musical play this month called "Gold Rush!" so she's our current expert in all things gold rush related.
When we parked at the visitor center, we went inside & the man running the museum was SO excited to have such a captive audience. He told us all about the gold rush, how the gold was discovered, who came when, & all sorts of facts. He even let the kids hold some of his REAL gold.
Taya loved the gold coin. It was SUPER heavy.
And these 2 pieces of gold were found right there at Marshall Gold Discovery Park. Gold right now is $1350.00 an ounce so those little nuggets are worth quite a bit of money.
Marshall Gold Discovery Park is great. You just explore the historic town on your own & they have people dressed up all over town that will tell you stories of the history & even let you take part in the history yourself.
We walked across the river there where the gold was first found. It was beautiful.
Then we hit up the old jail. It's the original jail & it's still somewhat standing. The kids got a kick out of "being in jail."
After than we wandered to a log cabin. There were 4 mormon missionaries (senior couples) whose "job" on their service mission is to reenact the time period of Sutter's Mill & teach visitors about the Mormon influence of Sutter's Mill.
One guy taught the boys & girls how to carry 200 pound logs around to build log cabins.
Then all the kids were treated to a wheelbarrow ride in his wheelbarrow.
Trek & I got to saw logs for our log cabin. We were given 1 minute to saw through a FAT log.
Cadence was just excited to find some good Mormon influence there. She loves her religion & is very proud of it.
It wasn't until this point that we figured out that these were mormon missionaries. Of course once we figured it out, we sat & talked with them for over an hour about genealogy, missions, pioneer treks, & all sorts of fun things.
The actual mill was pretty impressive too. Sutter's Mill started out as a saw mill for sawing wood to build cabins & a city. Little did they know that they'd find gold! Soon after gold was discovered, everyone stopped building the city & just searched for gold instead. The city was never completed.
This is where Marshall discovered that first piece of gold next to the river. Isn't it a beautiful view?
We also wandered into a little Indian village where the kids got to try on animal pelts, cook salmon over the fire, got their face painted, & made bracelets. They loved it.
Everywhere you walked, there were old buildings (stores, post office, blacksmith, etc.) & just old machinary. These are large stamps that would separate the gold from the quartz. The whole trip was SO interesting. I'm SO glad we decided to go up there.