We've always believed that the best and most effective way to learn about history is the hands-on approach. It's also the most fun!
Try your hand at panning for gold; dress up in period costume and spend a day living as they did then; take in an historical re-enactment, or better yet - take part in one; and visit the sites that have been preserved and restored to see for yourself where history actually happened.
That's why we recommend that you explore and learn about our Gold Rush history by visiting California Gold Rush sites around the North State.
Many have special programs for you to
participate in - activities like panning for gold or making a corn husk
doll, living history performances by
dedicated and learned reenactors - to help you get a real sense of having been there.
Read on to discover some of our favorite Gold Rush sites in Northern California's Gold Country and elsewhere around the North State.
Do you have a favorite Gold Rush site?
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Thanks to numerous folks over the last 162 years, we have many gold rush sites in Northern California that have been protected, preserved, and/or restored.
Visiting them will give you a sense of what it must have been like for those adventurous souls who left home, hearth, friends and family in order to seek their fortunes.
Where to begin? Let's begin at the beginning - where gold was first discovered!
Drive on up to visit California's Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park at Coloma and you'll find a replica of Sutter's Mill, where James Marshall first discovered the precious metal, plus over 20 historic buildings.
Or stop in at Sutter's Fort (photos here), home to John Sutter, the man who commissioned Marshall to build the mill. Sutter's Fort in Sacramento was at the forefront of California's modern history thanks to Sutter's role in encouraging immigration.
One of our favorite adventures when we visit Californi's Gold Rush sites is participating in the living history experiences offered at so many of them.
Speak with someone who has just survived the gruelling experience of crossing the Sierra Nevadas in a wagon train with the Donner party.
Listen to James Marshall's first-hand account of his unfortunate
gold discovery, the events that brought on the California Gold Rush, and why it was such an unfortunate discovery personally for both James Marshall and John Sutter!
Can't get your kidlettes interested in history? They think it's so BORing? Take them to visit some of California's Gold Rush sites - history will surely come alive for them if you do!
Here are some of our favorite Gold Rush history sites to visit:
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