49er RV Ranch

8 Interesting Gold Rush Facts

8 Interesting Gold Rush Facts

  1. The Gold Rush began after James Wilson Marshall, a carpenter and sawmill operator, found gold in the American River of California in 1848.
  2. Sadly, Marshall never made a profit from his discovery, and as a result of his breakthrough, the sawmill eventually closed after all of the workers spent their time searching for gold.
  3. Although Gold Rushers were predominantly Americans, gold seekers also traveled from Latin America, Europe, China and Australia.  Word travels fast, even in the 19th century!
  4. Interestingly, when Marshall found the gold, California was actually an extension of Mexico, although the United States had a military presence in the area after the Mexican-American War.
  5. Thanks in large part to the population influx that stemmed from the Gold Rush; the state of California joined the American Union as part of the Compromise of 1850.
  6. The population influx in California led to the creations of a myriad of civic institutions, businesses, new infrastructure and improved transportation for long-distance travelers.
  7. People used their life savings and mortgaged their futures in order to come out west and have the opportunity to literally strike gold.  These people became known as “49ers.”   Of course the professional football team in San Francisco that is playing in the Super Bowl this week chose “49ers” to be their team name.  Thanks to the original 49ers, San Francisco’s population rose from around 200 people at the time of Marshall’s discovery, to around 36,000 at the peak the of the Gold Rush in 1852.
  8. Gold Mining reached its financial peak in 1852, a year when approximately $81 million worth of gold was extracted from the ground.

Clearly, the Gold Rush Era was one of the most exciting times in American history.  It defined California and helped make it the most populated state.

If you would like to learn more about the history of the Gold Rush era, come stay at the 49er Ranch RV Park and visit the local historical sites!

Posted By: Columbia 49er Trailer Ranch


A Fun Filled Day at Calaveras Big Tree State Park

A Fun Filled Day at Calaveras Big Tree State Park

Visitors of 49er RV Ranch will have plenty to do while onsite, but for those who wish to venture off, one place to see for sure is Calaveras Big Tree State Park, which is roughly 28.5 miles away.

Upon arrival to Calaveras Big Tree SP, you’ll immediately notice what’s so special about this place. The trees are relics of prehistoric times when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Many of the trees can reach a height of 325 feet tall and a diameter of 33 feet.

The giant sequoias are quite the sight to see up close. Pair the beauty of the trees with the tranquility of the park, and you have a perfect day of exploring. The park has a variety of trees to admire which include white fir, ponderosa pines, sugar pines and incense cedars.

As a guide for planning a visit, the summer months bring temperatures of 80 to 50 degrees. Afternoon thunderstorms are rare, but bring a rain coat just in case.

The winter months bring variable weather conditions. Temperatures can get as low as the 20’s and as high as the 60’s. Many of the parks campgrounds and parkways are closed in the winter. Visit CA’s parks and recreation website at http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=551 for closing information.

Spring and fall might bring rain showers with the fall being much dryer.

Attractions of the park include a five-mile hiking trip in South Grove where you can explore giant sequoias in their natural setting. Other hiking trails include Lava Bluff Trail and Bradley Trail. The state park is also home of the Stanislaus River and Beaver Creek.

Note to dog owners. Dogs are not permitted on designated trails or in the woods. Dogs are permitted on campgrounds, picnic areas and dirt or paved roads. Be sure to have your dog on a leash.

The next time you plan on visiting us 49er RV Ranch, make sure to take some time for an adventure to Calaveras Big Tree State Park. Trust us when we tell you it will be well worth the drive!

More park information on guided tours and family fun events can be found at CA’s parks and recreation website at http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=551.

The Oldest Campground In California

The Oldest Campground In California

Established in 1865, 49er RV Ranch is renown today for being the oldest campground in the state of California.  Here is a fascinating legend of the man who created the establishment, resident ghost, Willie.

Thanks to a surplus of gold miners, resident ghost Willie and some of his family members settled in as dairy farmers during the heart of the gold rush.  The dairy farm provided gold miners with milk, cheese and other needed dairy products.  However, after another wave of miners came during came during the gold rush, Willie created a shrewd new business that would change the course of his history.

With the increased demand of having a place stay out west, Willie decided to turn the dairy ranch into a campground.  Travelers, filled with hopes and dreams of finding gold, needed a place to park their park their wagons after they finally reached their destination.  Willie was their guy, as new miners were able to leave their wagons on the campground.  Willie also turned extra wagons into other usable products, further enhancing his business.

Willie worked diligently each and every day, as he spent a large portion of his time mining for gold, while spending the rest of his time working on the ranch.  Fortunately, he earned enough money to grant his girlfriend Patty’s wishes, as his love constantly asked him in her letters to bring her out west to marry Willie and settle on the ranch.

The future was extremely bright for Willie, and finally, his diligence and ambition paid off after he and his brother struck gold!  However, the good times did not last long.  Sadly, on his way to turning in the gold, Willie was robbed and killed.

Willie’s brother was  left with the arduous task of explaining what transpired to Patty.  Fittingly, Willie’s brother kept the promise that was made to Patty, and brought her out west to the ranch and they continued the campground business.

Nonetheless, Willie has never been forgotten on the oldest campground in California.  In fact, he still has his own cabin and is a mainstay of the campground that is now known as the Columbia 49er Trailer Ranch.

Living Gold Rush

Living Gold Rush

Experience the Gold Rush with a visit to Columbia State Historic Park. This State Park is an unusual combination of a museum and a ‘LIVING’ 1850’s Gold Rush Town. Also visit a nearby ranch that began serving Columbia’s dairy needs in 1852. Today, this ranch provides an interesting collection of relics and memorabilia which include gold rush era buildings, ranch and mining tools, an unusual 22 million year old stone fence post and more. Continue reading

Fascinating History Of A Gold Rush Road

Fascinating History Of A Gold Rush Road

An ancient Indian migration and trading powwow trail reveals fascinating history and surprising links to Italian Gold, German Beer, Kentucky Milk, and a major Indian Rebellion. This trail is located in California’s Mother Lode foothills between Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe and Sacramento. Continue reading

A Columbia Legend Recalled

A Columbia Legend Recalled

Gold rush letters and diaries foster fascinating legends, such as this legend of a 49er Argonaut known as Willie. 49ers were often referred to as Argonauts in reference to legendary Greek mythology of dangerous journeys. Continue reading

California’s Oldest Campground

More About California’s Oldest Campground

Growth Hazard– With water for large scale mining, Columbia’s population soared to about 15,000 by 1852. Arriving families established schools, churches and over 100 businesses. This made Columbia a solid and significant town. However, the constant inflow of new arrivals continually outpaced the town’s ability to provide basic needs of food and housing. Continue reading

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