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The Gold Rush Legacy

1848 gold nuggets were discovered at Sutter's Mill in Coloma at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. People, and not gold, are the most precious asset of California. It brought the first wave of Chinese, who build the first transcontinental railroad though the Sierra. The Chinese camp we are driving through now witness the golden horizon of the past. The Gold Rush brought also over 300,000 people to California from the rest of the US and abroad. This early gold -seekers, known as the "forty-niners,". Once the gold ran dry, they turned their attentions to agriculture, industry, and business. In many ways, gold was a grossly destructive force. It ravaged the environment, leaving areas that to this day are scared by piles of mining debris. It decimated the Native American population from their own lands as John Savage did when he forced them to leave their own homes in the Yosemite Valley. The Gold rush ruined thousands of lives and their families who dangerously decided to cross Death Valley and the High peaks of the Sierra Nevada making their way to the gold county. Inter- communities brutal fights took place and the impact on the natives was dramatic. But the Gold Rush did ultimately have a constructive end: it was the beginning of the flourishing and mature state of Golden State and its agriculture, industry and business. California agriculture was first jump-started by the Gold Rush to feed the foothills filled with 100,000 hungry miners .California cities were transformed by the Gold Rush. San Francisco went from being a quite hamlet with fewer than 500 inhabitants to a booming city and the commercial and financial center of the West Coast while Sacramento developed into a modest metropolis that would become the state's capital in 1855.  Today, California the most populated and wealth of all US states.