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Monday, January 07 2013
Following the discovery of gold in Coloma, California on January 24, 1848, boomtowns sprang up quicker than weeds. Just eight miles away, Old Dry Diggins was one such tent-filled mining camp that took root. So named because miners had to move cartloads of dry soil to running water in order to separate out the gold, the population quickly swelled from hundreds of gold seekers to thousands. As to be expected, things got a little lawless and wild, and the name changed to Hangtown after numerous hangings took place in quick succession. Today, we know this historic gold rush town as Placerville, California.

Most early prospectors got the gold by panning and sluicing. Gold was easier to see and easier to recover that way. Eventually, though, the “easy money” ran out and more and more small mining companies and individuals turned to hard rock mining. Take a self-guided walking tour of the Gold Bug Mine in Placerville’s Gold Bug Park, and you’ll see how these miners dug drifts (horizontal tunnels) into hillsides to follow the veins of quartz and gold.

The Gold Bug Mine (originally the Hattie Mine) is a typical hard rock mine found in the Mother Lode. If you haven’t had the opportunity to safely explore an underground mine, or want to introduce your kids to a little fun and history, Gold Bug Park is ideal. Not only can you can go underground, but you can visit a stamp mill and blacksmith shop, have a picnic, and do a little hiking, too. When you buy your tour ticket, you’ll get a hard hat to wear and a hand-held audio wand. As you make your way through the mine, the voice of an old-timer tells the tales of the Gold Bug and the California Gold Rush. Article continued here...
Posted by: Denise AT 10:44 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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