Tuesday, we left the park about 9:00. We were only going about 150 miles, but we had to tackle going downhill Priest Grade and then the curvy road of Highway 49. We both went slowly down Priest Grade in second gear. It took about 30 minutes, but we did it successfully without me getting sick. :)
Next, we headed down Highway 49 which goes through the mining towns built after gold was discovered. We followed our GPS and sometimes you're just not sure if it knows where it's going. Before we reached our destination, Jim came over the radio saying he needed diesel. Now there are not many gas stations on this road, let alone any big enough that he could pull into with the rig. We continued on and made it to Ponderosa RV Resort without running out of diesel.
We're in Lotus, California on the South Fork of the American River. We're only a mile from the original Sutter's Mill and Friday we made a visit to the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park.
This is an authentic reproduction of the original Sutter's Mill made from original plans. It has been moved up farther from the river to keep it from being destroyed in floods.
This is the part of the river where it all began. James W. Marshall discovered gold in 1848 when he found shining flecks of gold in the tailrace of the sawmill he was building for John Sutter. This discovery chaged the course of California's and the nation's history leading to the greatest mass movement of people in the western hemisphere.
There is a museum on site which documents the discovery.
This is the Wah Hop store, one of two remaining original Chinese stores.
There was a blacksmith shop
with working blacksmiths.
We walked through the park passing the St. John's Catholic Church.
This was James Marshall's house.
Looking inside, we were surprised with the rooms. There were two bedrooms downstairs and stairs leading to a loft upstairs.
There was also a living area.
We continued our 1/2 mile hike up the hill to reach the memorial to James Marshall. The man who first discovered the gold died penniless. The people in Coloma felt there needed to be a memorial to him and in 1886 placed this monument in his honor. He is displayed with a gold nugget in one hand and the other hand is pointing to where gold was discovered.
That's the view below, the mill is the little brown building in the middle.
On our way back down, we saw a large magnolia tree full of flowers in full bloom.
Another great day of history!