Finding Gold in California

    In January of 1848, James Marshall had a work crew team that was all camped on the American River at Coloma near Sacramento. This crew was constructing a sawmill for John Sutter. On a very cold morning of January 24, Marshall found a few tiny gold nuggets. As a consequence of this discovery one of the biggest human migrations in history occurred as a half-million people from around the world moved over to California in search of immediate riches and wealth.

    Some of the places to consider finding out about gold and places where gold has been found are:

    • Sierra City on state highway 49 area, which is on the northeast of San Francisco. The Sierra City district has a widespread area in central Sierra County. It consists of the Furnier, Loganville, Church Meadows, Gold Valley, and Sierra City-Sierra Buttes areas. It is situated on the south end of the most important belt of gold mineralization that expands north-northwest to the Johnsville district in Plumas County. 
    • There is also Grass Valley, which consists of a well-known mining district in western Nevada County in the same area of the town of Grass Valley. The Nevada City district is next to it on the northeast and the Rough-and-Ready district is on the west side.
    • You can also find Folsom which is a district that is in northeastern Sacramento County. It was primarily a dredging field that ran from the town of Folsom southwest all the way to the south side of the American River to Fair Oaks, south through the town of Natoma to Nimbus and then west to the east border of what we now know as the Mather Air Force Base. The dredged region is just about 10 miles long in a southwest direction and is around seven miles wide. The Folsom district has also been known as the American River district.

    Important Note: Always check with the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) and property owners before attempting to do any gold panning.