August 28, 1988 |
This may be the state's prettiest and best preserved Gold Rush town. It sits at the base of pine-clad hills in a natural bowl, which miners who named the town imagined to be the crater of a dormant volcano. Thanks to being several miles away from the main Mother Lode highway, things haven't changed much since the place was all but abandoned after its boom days. Volcano's residents now number about 100, a far cry from its peak population of 10,000.
March 7, 1999 |
Nothing, of course, is truly new, it only has better bells and whistles. Academia's "continuing education" program that invites adults to kit themselves out with backpacks and laptops is a new branch on an old tree called the Chautauqua movement, which originated more than a century ago, when travel and learning were all very well but out of reach to all but a very few. That short-lived institution in Chautauqua, N.Y.
December 13, 1987 |
The mule teams and the hill's most famous resident, Mark Twain, are long gone, but the old cabin is still there, a decaying reminder of a Gold Rush era that lingers along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. The roof sags and the rough-plank walls are rotting away. A metal fence surrounds the structure, supposedly a replica of the shack that Twain used for a few months in the 1860s while he gathered material for "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" and "Roughing It."
May 27, 1990 |
When it comes to gold panning, you have your recreational speed panners and you have your unvarnished, dirt-chewing prospectors. Speed panners practice in the comfort of their backyards. Prospectors scrabble through the wilderness, scuffing knuckles and fingernails in gravelly stream beds. "Us old miners who have been in the field a long time tend to pooh-pooh the speed panners," says George Massie, president of the Gold Prospectors Assn. of America.
March 13, 1988 |
Charlie's face looked creviced from countless days under the Western Australia sun. A three-day growth of stubble covered his chin. But his keen blue eyes shone with the passion of discovery. "Once you find your first 10-ounce nugget, you're hooked," he said with a toothless grin. "The one- and two-ouncers don't mean much, but once you find your first 10-ouncer, that's it."
June 25, 1998 |
At John Sutter's sawmill 150 years ago, the discovery of that infamous gold nugget triggered the California Gold Rush, and the rest is, well, history. To mark the momentous find, there's a bonanza of Gold Rush events this weekend designed to take you back to those rough-and-tumble days--even give you a shot at panning for gold. At Ventura's Olivas Adobe on Sunday, a re-created mining town will put a realistic spin on those heady times.
June 25, 1998 |
These days, "Get Up and Get It" might be the name of vitamin supplements or the title of a book on corporate takeovers. But in the last century, especially during California's Gold Rush era, such a slogan would have been the name of a town. Such labels were intended to be inspirational, as in Gold Hill, or occasionally graphic, as in the town of Bed Bug, according to Ventura historian Richard Senate. This Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
October 27, 1985 |
During the Gold Rush days, steamboats with names like Martha Jane and Benecia chugged up and down the Sacramento River carrying passengers and freight from San Francisco to Red Bluff and back, stopping off at loading docks and ferry stations along the banks. The transcontinental railroad, with its speed, efficiency and relative low cost meant the end of the upper Sacramento River as a commerce center. Bridges replaced the ferries. Today, only pleasure boats or houseboats ply the river.