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

Charlie Chaplinís Gold Rush

 
 
Charlie Chaplinís Gold Rush Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2014
1. Charlie Chaplinís Gold Rush Marker
Inscription.
History
Love - Excitement - Pathos - Humor. Itís all in “The Gold Rush” which was filmed at Sugar Bowl (and Truckee).

“The Gold Rush,” written, produced, directed, and starring Charlie Chaplin was one of Chaplinís most famous movies and was the film he is quoted as saying for which he most wanted to be remembered. The 1925 silent was the highest grossing silent comedy.

Charlie Chaplin had read about the Donner Party and the Klondike gold prospectors. He combined elements of hardship and the search for gold in “The Gold Rush.” Charlie, the Little Tramp, headed for Alaska where he found himself in a cabin with a criminal, Big Jim. There was not enough food and they were reduced to eating one of Charlieís boots. The cabin teetered precariously on a cliff edge. Charlie fell in love with a dance hall girl and danced the dance of the “dinner rolls.” Charlie, the character, later became a multi-millionaire and met his dance hall girl again. The film is wonderful and still available.

A Good Story
As Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story:” During the winter filming, many of the cast caught colds and Charlie caught the flu. The movie was finished on the sound stages in Hollywood and much of the Sierra footage
Charlie Chaplinís Gold Rush Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2014
2. Charlie Chaplinís Gold Rush Marker
This marker is second from the right.
ended up on the cutting room floor. For the Klondike scene over the Chilcoot Pass, the Truckee Ski Club cleared a path in the snow up the mountain at what would become Sugar Bowl. Six hundred extras were brought by train from Sacramento to appear as miners going up the pass. The boot Charlie ate to stave off hunger was made of licorice. There were so many retakes requiring so much licorice eating, that Chaplin became sick and had to have his stomach pumped.

Things to do right here
From here you can hike to see some great scenery. You can hike up directly from here to “conquer” Mt. Lincoln. The Mt. Judah Loop Trail takes you across the top of Mt. Judah and down the pass between Judah and Donner Peak. Scramble up the granite slabs of Donner Peak to the top and see straight down 1000 feet to Donner Lake. A really ambition (sic) person can go from here all the way to Squaw Valley or just go to Mt. Anderson or Kinker Knob on the Pacific Crest Trail.
 
Erected by Donner Summit Historical Society. (Marker Number 19.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the 20-Mile Museum - Hwy 40 Scenic Bypass, and the Donner Summit Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 39° 18.824′ N, 120° 20.308′ W. Marker is in Norden, California,
Filming Charlie Chaplinís Gold Rush image. Click for full size.
By Unknown
3. Filming Charlie Chaplinís Gold Rush
in Nevada County. Marker is on Donner Pass Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 58404 Donner Pass Road, Norden CA 95724, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sugar Bowl (here, next to this marker); The Magic Carpet (here, next to this marker); The Lodge at Sugar Bowl (here, next to this marker); Mt. Judah (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Summit Hotel (approx. half a mile away); Tunnel 6 (approx. half a mile away); Donner Ski Ranch (approx. 0.6 miles away); Tri Lodges (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Norden.
 
Regarding Charlie Chaplinís Gold Rush. This marker is removed every Fall for the winter months and replaced every Spring for the summer season.
 
Also see . . .
1. Filming the Gold Rush - Charlie Chaplin Website. Charles Chaplin made The Gold Rush out of the most unlikely sources for comedy. The first idea came to him when he was viewing some stereoscope pictures of the 1896 Klondike gold rush, and was particularly struck by the image of an endless line of prospectors snaking up the Chilkoot Pass, the gateway to the gold fields. At the same time he happened to read a book about the Donner Party Disaster of 1846, when
Filming Charlie Chaplinís Gold Rush image. Click for full size.
By Unknown
4. Filming Charlie Chaplinís Gold Rush
a party of immigrants, snowbound in the Sierra Nevada, were reduced to eating their own moccasins and the corpses of their dead comrades.
(Submitted on March 25, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

2. The 20-Mile Museum Brochure. Information and the listing of all the markers within this series. (Submitted on March 30, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 25, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 255 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 25, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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