Coloma in El Dorado County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Erected by Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 38° 47.786′ N, 120° 53.364′ W. Marker is in Coloma, California, in El Dorado County. Marker is on Cold Springs Road, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located within the boundaries of The Marshall Gold Discovery State Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Coloma CA 95613, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sutter Mill Cemetery – 1848 (here, next to this marker); Coloma’s Pioneer Cemetery (here, next to this marker); Emmanuel Church (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Papini House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dukehart’s Barbershop and Bathhouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); American House Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Saint John’s Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cabin of James Marshall (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Coloma.
Regarding Pioneer Cemetery. See also: Sutter's Mill Cemetery marker and all other Coloma markers for additional information.
1. Jerry Crane
Dr. Crane has the dubious distinction of being the first to be hanged in Coloma, immediately before Mickey Free was hanged in the town's celebrated double hanging. Crane murdered one of his students named Susan because, as he claimed, he "loved" her (actually, she had unwisely rejected his marriage proposal), although a little investigating revealed that he had a wife and family back East. He was arrested at his home in Ringgold for the murder, and there was a lynching attempt.
Source: Gold Rush Chronicles
— Submitted October 9, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.
2. Mickey Free
Mickey Free was Hangee No. 2 in Coloma's celebrated double hanging. He was involved in a cutthroat gang that specialized in raiding and robbing Chinese camps and murdering lonely miners. He was responsible for the murder of a roadhouse keeper. Later, he wrote a confession, "Life of Mickey Free", which was published by the local Empire County Argus paper. At his execution in Coloma immediately following that of Jerry Crane, he cocked his hat over one eye, tossed peanuts into his mouth, and at one point danced a jig, perhaps to the beat of the brass band from Placerville that was playing. However, when his turn on the gallows came, he tried to sing, but broke down completely. Free's grave can still be found at the edge of the Coloma cemetery.
Source: Gold Rush Chronicles
Additional keywords. Gold Rush
Credits. This page was last revised on July 7, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 9, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 2,457 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 9, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.