Coloma was a somewhat sleepy little town in the Sierra foothills during the 1840’s, but on the morning of January 24, 1848, all that was to change as James Marshall leaned over and picked up a piece of gold. Of course his discovery started the California Gold Rush which would bring hundreds of thousands of people to California almost overnight, lead to statehood within two years, and change the face of California and the nation forever. Huell visits Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park and meets up with members of its living history association who are dressed as actual miners from 1848, and who give him a good idea of what life was like back then. Huell also meets “James Marshall” himself who takes him to the exact spot gold was discovered 150 years ago. Along the way we not only learn how to pan for gold but learn that 80% of California’s Gold is still waiting to be discovered!

 1998