The discovery of gold on the magical date of January 24, 1848, when James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill near Coloma, started a rush that was unprecedented in all of the world's history.
It started a boom period to the state that lasted at least 15 years. By 1849, gold production reached $10 million, and it would not be until 1929 that production would drop below that value.
1852 was the all-time peak year, with $82 million in gold production from a total of almost four million ounces mined. Between 1850 and 1864, over one million ounces were mined every year.
In this book Frank Lorey covers the historic towns and mining locations in the eleven counties which produced the vast majority of California's golden wealth. Most are situated along and nearby to Highway 49, known as California's "Golden Highway."
Today many are nothing more than historic locations, having become ghost towns long ago, but some are still quite lively locations. The book was developed from a popular series of articles in the California Geology and California Mining Journal magazines over the years, starting in 1985.
Frank Lorey has taken many of the photographs during his travels in the area, and for a few years he lived just outside the gold rush country.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Frank Lorey is best known for his work on the History Channel's Wild West Tech show (2004-2005) as a guest star and writer, and HGTV's Sizzling Outdoor Kitchens (2007). Frank has also appeared as guest star on numerous PBS programs dealing with history, and has made appearances on the Fine Living network. He is the author of 15 books and over 530 magazine and journal articles.