Gold Fields District Staff Visit Hawver Cave
The hills of El Dorado County are full of more than just gold; limestone caverns have also abound. Around 1900, John C. Hawver, an amateur geologist, discovered a limestone cave near Cool. The cave was explored by the University of California Berkeley in 1907 and bones of prehistoric animals and human beings were found, including the tusks from a mastodon.
This limestone deposit provided more than just a glimpse into prehistoric life. It became a thriving commercial enterprise known as Mountain Quarries where limestone for cement and processing sugar beets was mined. At its peak production, the plant employed between 150-200 men working two eight-hour shifts and produced between 1000-1500 tons of limestone per day.
The quarry was located on the... READ MORE>>
Marshall Gold Decorates a Tree Along Hwy 50
Christmas Tree Lane along Highway 50 in Placerville has been a festive custom for nearly 50 years. First conceived in 1971 by Robert Conrad in an effort to boost awareness of local Christmas tree farms, the tradition has become a hallmark of the holiday season.
Christmas Tree Lane is administered by the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce and local organizations and businesses sponsor a tree providing the decorations and festooning the tree. This year more than ever, the chamber felt the need to continue this tradition as, “the brightly decorated trees along Highway 50 give much-needed joy to our community and travelers. Now more than ever we need to keep that spirit alive.”
The chamber held a lottery to choose the groups... READ MORE>>
2020 Quilt Project Update
The Marshall Gold Discovery SHP community quilt project is well underway and headed toward the finish line! Twenty five volunteers and/or staff created and submitted a quilt square to be included in this work of art. Many of the participants were first time quilters, and some have become quilting enthusiasts!
REcently, a dedicated group of staff and volunteers met to determine how the squares should be arranged... READ MORE>>
Marshall Gold Embraces Distance Learning
By Holly Thane, Interpreter I
It is safe to say that we really missed all our fourth-grade visitors this year! Because we still want to share our park and its history with schoolchildren around the state, and because we are not likely to see classes in the park in spring 2021, we decided to join California State Parks PORTS team!
PORTS is an acroynym for Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students. This program enables teachers to schedule their class for their own personal virtual field trip of the park. Twice a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, park Interpreter I Holly Thane has been signing on to Zoom with classes across the state and providing them with a 45-minute tour of the park. READ MORE>>
Virtual Events are the Order of the Day in 2020
As with so many other events this year, Coloma Gold Rush Live became a casualty of the pandemic. The annual four day event, which features a gold rush style tent town with over 100 volunteer inhabitants, was called in August amidst concerns for the saftey of the volunteers, staff and visitors.
But, that did not mean that park staff and volunteers could not present a modified, if smaller scale, virtual version of the event. On Thursday and Friday, October 8 and 9, the park presented 8 Facebook Live segments, specifically aimed at our fourth grade friends who were not able to experience gold rush history at the park. Facebook Live allows viewers to interact READ MORE>>
All A-Buzz at St. John's Church
St. John’s Catholic Church at Marshall Gold Discovery SHP was built in 1858 and served the community until 1925. Although regular services are no longer held in the church, the sanctuary plays host to the occasional wedding or memorial service. These days the building sees more use from the local wildlife.
Woodpeckers find the siding to their liking and deposit acorns within the walls. The church is also a perennial favorite of bees. The little honey makers gain access to the spaces between the siding and the interior walls through the holes made by woodpeckers. Once between the walls, they have a comfy space to build honeycombs and raise their brood. Despite efforts to remove the bees each year, they always come back... READ MORE>>
New Flagpole at the Post Office
A small, non-descript white building sits along Highway 49 nestled between the Monroe House and the Argonaut Cafe in the middle of Marshall Gold Discovery SHP. The bright blue mailbox out front provides a clue as to the business that is transacted within. And, now a beautiful new flagpole flies the stars and stripes over the building, which has housed the Coloma branch of the U.S. Post Office since 1949.
In November 1849, John T. Little was appointed, against his wishes, as the first postmaster of Coloma.... READ MORE>>
Managing Cultural and Natural Resources During Fire Season
Each year we hold our collective breath as fire season approaches. We listen for the wail of sirens, watch the horizon for plumes of smoke and search the scanners for word of local conflagrations. And every year that we are fortunate enough to emerge from fire season unscathed we thank our lucky stars.
Over the past few months, the interpretive and law enforcement staffs at Marshall Gold Discovery SHP have been diligently working on and updating a fire emergency plan for the park. The importance of having this plan really hit home on August 19 when we learned that the CZU Lightning Complex Fire had blazed through the Santa Cruz Mountains destroying much of Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
But, having a plan in place and actually executing it can be two divergent processes... READ MORE>>