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Sutter's Mill

Sutter's Mill
Sutter's Mill in 1850
Official name: Gold discovery site
Designated March 7, 1955[1]
Reference no. 530
Modern reconstruction.

Sutter's Mill was a sawmill owned by 19th-century pioneer John Sutter in partnership with James W. Marshall. It was located in Coloma, California, at the bank of the South Fork American River. Sutter's Mill is most famous for its association with the California Gold Rush.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Location 2
  • In popular culture 3
  • Smithsonian 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

On January 24, 1848, Marshall found several flakes of gold that began the transformation of the territory to a bustling center of activity.[2] On February 2, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in Mexico City which transferred the American Southwest to the United States. During the next seven years, approximately 300,000 people came to California (half by land and half by sea) to seek their fortunes mining for gold or selling supplies like picks and shovels to the gold prospectors.

Henry Bigler[3] and Azariah Smith,[4] wrote about their experience in their respective recollection or diary. Like several other people working at the mill, these two workers were discharged veterans of the Mormon Battalion.[5] After this discovery at the mill, the "gold rush" era began and many people came from the east to find fortune. The era helped to transform people like Levi Strauss and Luzena Wilson.

Location

The site of the mill is located on the South Fork American River. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is registered as California Historical Landmark #530.[6] The current Sutter's Mill is a replica of the original building. It was built using Marshall's own drawings and an early day photo as reference for the recreation of the mill.

In popular culture

The mill was also the namesake and inspiration for a song by singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg.[7] The mill was also the namesake for a song by the New Riders of the Purple Sage, and for Herb Sutter's blog.

Smithsonian

The original flake of gold discovered at the mill is currently at the Smithsonian Institution.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Gold discovery site". California State Parks Offie of Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  2. ^ "Gold Nugget". americanhistory.si.edu. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  3. ^ "California Gold An Authentic History of the First Find With the Names of Those Interested in the Discovery". www.sfmuseum.org. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  4. ^ "The Gold Discovery Journal of Azariah Smith".  
  5. ^ William G. Hartley (September 1997). "On the Trail in September".  
  6. ^ "Sutter’s Mill Site". www.hmdb.org. Retrieved 2010-04-17. 
  7. ^ "Sutter's Mill by Dan Fogelberg".  

External links

  • Discovery of Gold, by John A. Sutter, Hutchings’ California Magazine, November 1857. Sutter describes how he wanted a sawmill near the Sacramento and how Marshall told him of the gold.
  • Early photographs, illustrations, and textual references to Sutter's Mill, via Calisphere, California Digital Library.

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