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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Coloma in El Dorado County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

James Wilson Marshall

And the Coloma Valley

 
 
James Wilson Marshall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, October 7, 2008
1. James Wilson Marshall Marker
Inscription. James Marshall arrived in the “Collumah”, valley home of the Nisenan, on May 8, 1847 to map the site for a sawmill he was to build in partnership with John Sutter. On August 18, Marshall returned with a crew, mostly Mormons, to build the mill. On Monday morning, January 24, 1848, while inspecting the tailrace downstream of the partially completed mill, Marshall picked up a flake of pure gold. The valley, the lives of Marshall and the Nisenan, and the land called California were forever changed.
 
Erected 1998 by California Gold Discovery Sesquicentennial, Grand Parlor, Native Sons of the Golden West, California State Parks, January 24, 1998.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
 
Location. 38° 48.15′ N, 120° 53.562′ W. Marker is in Coloma, California, in El Dorado County. Marker can be reached from State Highway 49. Click for map. Marker is located a short walk on the trail from the Sutter’s Mill Replica parking area to the Sutter’s Mill and Gold Discovery Site. Marker is in this post office area: Coloma CA 95613, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Partners In History (a few steps from this marker);
James Wilson Marshall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, October 7, 2008
2. James Wilson Marshall Marker
This trail leads to the gold discovery site
The Coloma Road (a few steps from this marker); Mormon Cabin (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sutter Mill Replica (about 300 feet away); James W. Marshall (about 400 feet away); Chinese Miners of the Mother Lode (about 400 feet away); Chinese Stores (about 400 feet away); Sutter’s Mill Site (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Coloma.
 
Regarding James Wilson Marshall. Also see: All James W. Marshall, Sutter’s Mill and nearby Coloma markers for additional information.
 
Also see . . .
1. Malakoff: Jame’s W. Marshall’s Account of the First Discovery of Gold. (Submitted on October 10, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
2. California State Parks: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. (Submitted on October 10, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Gold Rush Chronicles – James Marshall

James
James Wilson Marshall Monument image. Click for full size.
By James King, January 24, 2014
3. James Wilson Marshall Monument
Native Sons of the Golden West Members pose by the monument. The location of the new replica sawmill is visible in front of the tent in the left background.

(l-r)Former Governor General of Past President's Association NSGW Tony and Caine Starelli (Fairfax Parlor #307), Grand Trustee Erik Christeson (Excelsior Parlor #31), Future Native Son Connor Christeson and Grand Trustee Carey Pearce (Santa Lucia Parlor #97)
Marshall ~ "January 24, 1848: This day some kind of mettle was found in the tailrace that looks like goald, first discovered by James Martial, the Boss of the Mill." ~ From the diary of Henry Bigler

James Wilson Marshall, born in New Jersey in 1810, was a quiet and moody man, a carpenter and wheelwright by trade. In 1847, he entered into a contract with "Captain" John Sutter to build a saw mill in Coloma, where he discovered gold in the mill's tailrace on January 24, 1848. When the news leaked out (almost immediately), miners flocked in. Efforts by Marshall and Sutter to claim ownership of the Coloma area failed, as did Marshall's efforts to charge a commission for the gold mined there. He was run off the land when he persisted. He began making claims that he had special powers to locate gold, so he was often followed and sometimes threatened. He ended up living in Kelsey, just a few miles from Coloma, where he operated a blacksmith shop and sold his autograph on bits of paper to supplement his income. He died lonely and bitter in 1885 at age 74, never having enjoyed the wealth he helped others to find. He is buried under his statue in the State Historic Park that bears his name. The monument was built in 1890, not far from Marshall's cabin.

See the James W. Marshall and Cabin of James Marshall markers for additional information
James Wilson Marshall image. Click for full size.
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park 1977 Brochure
4. James Wilson Marshall
    — Submitted October 10, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.

 
Additional keywords. Gold Rush
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
Sutter's Mill Site Monument image. Click for more information.
By Karen Key
5. Sutter's Mill Site Monument
Site Located further down trail

Click for more information.
Marshall Monument Mentioned in Article image. Click for more information.
By Syd Whittle
6. Marshall Monument Mentioned in Article
The James Marshall Monument
Click for more information.
James Marshall Cabin Mentioned in Article image. Click for more information.
By Syd Whittle, October 7, 2008
7. James Marshall Cabin Mentioned in Article
The James Marshall Cabin
Click for more information.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 3,930 times since then and 42 times this year. Last updated on , by Ken Horn of Springfield, Missouri. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   3. submitted on , by James King of San Miguel, California.   4. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   5. submitted on , by Karen Key of Sacramento, California.   6. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   7. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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