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Event Update - Marshall Gold Discovery SHP

Gold Rush Live Update

The tent town for Coloma Gold Rush Live is shaping up, but we still need more players. Register now to join this fun-filled event and help us share the history of the gold rush with visitors to the park.

Register now for Gold Rush Live!

Remember, Sewing Fridays begin this Friday, July 21!

Join our sewing circle each Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. between July 21 and August 25 to work on items to upgrade your period attire.We will be meeting in the Weller House. If you’re not sure where that is, please ask at the museum.

This is not just for the ladies! Gentlemen are encouraged to join us and work on accessories for your costume, or maybe even a new period shirt or overshirt. Here are July’s dates and projects with a materials list.

July 21: Pockets and pouches. We will be working on Lucy Pockets (a pocket worn by the ladies beneath the apron. Ideal for carrying keys, cell phones, money), haversacks for men and women, and/or the “housewife” (a compact sewing kit used by men and women). You don’t need to make all three (you probably won’t have time), so come prepared to make whichever you please.


  • Sewing machine, fabric, scissors, pins, thread. You don’t need to have a sewing machine to join us. You can work by hand or borrow a machine.

  • Haversack: 1/2 yard of heavier cotton fabric — denim, duck — plus a 1/2 yard of period appropriate cotton fabric for the lining. 1-3 buttons.

  • Lucy pocket: 1/3 yard of period appropriate cotton print fabric, 1/3 yard muslin or cotton for the lining.

  • Housewife: 1/4 yard period appropriate cotton print and various period appropriate scraps July 28: Aprons and Overshirts. Aprons are a must. Women always wore an apron when working in the home or out of doors to protect their dresses. Overshirts were an integral part of a miner’s wardrobe. We encourage the men to join us and make their own overshirt.


  • Sewing machine, fabric, scissors, pins, thread. You don’t need to have a sewing machine to join us. You can work by hand or borrow a machine.

  • Apron: 2 yards of period appropriate cotton print fabric.

  • Men’s overshirt: 3 yards of 45″ shirt weight wool flannel in red, blue or grey. 4 – 3/8″ buttons.

  • Men’s shirt: 3.5 yards of 45″ period appropriate cotton fabric — yes, men wore calico prints! 2 – 1/2″ buttons.

Join us in Tent Town.

Our theme this year is “Coloma! A Town is Born.” Our aim is to include more business-type venues to make our tent town more like the town of Coloma in 1850. We will be adding a few new venues and expanded scenarios to bring our town to life.

Remember, applications are due August 1. We hope you can join us! Register at

What was happening in 1850?

Here are a few fun facts to get you in the right mindset for Coloma Gold Rush Live. These would be great facts to weave into your interactions with other docents or the public.

  • 1845 Alexander Cartwright and his New York Knickerbockers codify the “Rules of Baseball.”

  • 1846 Elias Howe patents the sewing machine.

  • January 24, 1848 James Marshall discovers gold in the tail race of Sutter’s Mill in the Coloma Valley.

  • The 1849 Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo ends the Mexican-American War ceding 500,000 square miles of territory in what is currently the western and southwestern United States (including California) to the United States.

  • The 1850 census shows the population of Coloma at 584, 70 of which are women. The town includes 68 merchants, 22 carpenters, 15 blacksmiths and 12 clerks, as well as 148 miners.

  • September 9, 1850 California is admitted to the United States as a free state.

  • The territories of New Mexico and Utah are created in September 1850.

  • The winter of 49/50 was an exceptionally wet winter – most miners were unable to work because of high water.

  • The first national women’s right convention is held in Massachusetts in August of 1850.

  • July 9, 1850 Millard Filmore becomes president of the United States when Zachary Taylor dies in office.

  • September 18, 1850 the Fugitive Slave Act provides for the return of slaves brought to free states.

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