California’s Untold Stories: Gold Rush

James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in January of 1848 and set off the gold rush in California.

This site was created around the 150th anniversary of Marshall’s discovery and takes a look at different aspects of the Gold Rush. 

Gold Fever – this section is a two-part virtual tour that explores the lure of the Gold Rush.  It begins with the nature of gold and how the word spread about Marshall’s find in California. And then continues in part two with a look at mining life, the communities that cropped around the hunt for gold, and ends with the legacy of the Gold Rush. 

Art of the Gold Rush – this section does exactly what the title suggests and takes a look at art of the Gold Rush. You’ll need to select a piece of artwork from the list in order to get started. I just picked the first one and then used the right and left pointers to navigate through the art.

Silver & Gold – this section takes a look at daguerreotypes of people and places associated with the Gold Rush. 

Natives & Immigrants – this section offers a different way to navigate. Here you’ll pick a culture to explore and then go along its pathway. Your options are African American, Californian Indian, Chinese, and Californio/Latino. 

Curriculum Materials – if you’d like to teach a unit on the Gold Rush this site offers helpful curriculum materials. I thought it was awesome that there were lesson plans for a multitude of different grades (4th, 5th, 8th, and 11th). 

Fonseca Paintings – this section takes a look at the paintings of Harry Fonseca, which are a series of abstract paintings created in 1997 that give off an impression of what took place during the Gold Rush. I thought this section was especially neat. 

Another useful navigation tip I have for you is that you can use the home button beneath the section (denoted with a house) at anytime to navigate back to the main page.


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