Thursday, August 2, 2012
Gold Discovered in 1849
By Paisley Kirkpatrick The 1849 gold discovery sparked a mass hysteria as immigrants traveled from around the world to what soon would be known as the gold country of California. Digging for gold from early dawn until dusk was a backbreaking job, but the desire to find their fortune in gold drove these miners on. A miner had to find an ounce of gold a day to just break even. Most miners barely found enough for daily expenses. The gold discovery wrought immense changes upon the land and its people. The peak production of placer gold occurred in 1853. Every year after that, more and more men were in California, but less gold was found. Thousands of disillusioned gold seekers returned home with little to show for their endeavors, glad to escape with their health. After the boom, many miners -- broke and looking for wages -- headed to San Francisco. Some stayed in the towns that developed during the gold rush. I found this rebuilding of the lives and communities an exciting time in history. Some let disappointment send them into lives of drink and gambling. Others pulled together to rebuild their towns and start businesses, some of which still stand today. Placerville, known as both Dry Diggins and Hangtown during the heydays, still holds onto some of those grand houses, rock buildings, and tunnels zigzagging underneath the town. Luckily for me, I have this history at my fingertips to inspire my stories. My first book, Paradise Pines Series: Night Angel will be released by Desert Breeze Publishing August 21st. It is a story of a hotel owner who anonymously helps the downtrodden citizens of his community by traveling through the tunnels at night to provide families with goods they need. A vibrant saloon-singing poker player arrives in town and stirs it out of its doldrums with her beautiful voice and colorful costumes.