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Gold Discovery Day

Saturday, January 21, 2023

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


California State Parks today announced it will celebrate the 175th anniversary of James Marshall’s discovery of gold at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park on Saturday, January 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Gold Discovery Day, which was first celebrated in Coloma in 1948 on the centennial of the discovery, will include activities and living history demonstrations throughout the park.


In 1848, Marshall found shining flecks of gold in the tailrace of the sawmill he was building in partnership with John Sutter. The discovery in present day Coloma sparked California’s famous gold rush and led to the greatest voluntary mass migration of people in the Western Hemisphere.


10:00 a.m. – The 175th anniversary celebration kicks off with a special message from District Superintendents Barry Smith and Steve Hilton.

10:30 a.m. – Hear first-hand accounts of the gold discovery from the people who witnessed it -- James Marshall, John Sutter, Jennie Wimmer, Sam Brannan and Henry Bigler.

11:00 a.m. – Barney Noel, past grand president of the Native Sons of the Golden West Placerville Parlor, will share the history of the Native Sons and how they have helped preserve California’s historic sites including the Marshall Monument.


11:30 a.m. – Learn more about how you can become a part of the volunteer program at Marshall Gold Discovery SHP during our Meet and Greet at 11:30 a.m. in the museum theater. Volunteer opportunities range from living history, to instructing school groups, to park maintenance projects, greeting visitors, giving tours, and so much more. Bring your questions and your enthusiasm.

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

  • Watch timber framing demonstrations and learn about the construction methods used to build the original Sutter’s Mill and the reproduction sawmill.

  • Learn about mining techniques and the life of a miner.

  • Find out why so many traveled so far to reach the gold fields.

  • Learn how people traveled to the gold fields.

  • Enjoy kids’ games and activities for the entire family.

  • Watch blacksmithing demonstrations.

$10 per vehicle day use fee collected. For more information, call (530) 622-3470.

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