Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

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Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
The actual spot where James W. Marshall discovered gold in 1848
USA California location map.svg
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Location Coloma, California, U.S.
Nearest city Placerville, California
Coordinates 38°48′00″N120°53′38″W / 38.800°N 120.894°W / 38.800; -120.894 Coordinates: 38°48′00″N120°53′38″W / 38.800°N 120.894°W / 38.800; -120.894 [1]
Area576 acres (233 ha)
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation
Official nameMarshall Monument [2]
Reference no.143
Official nameGold Discovery Site [3]
Reference no.530

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is a state park of California, United States, marking the discovery of gold by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in 1848, sparking the California Gold Rush. The park grounds include much of the historic town of Coloma, California, which is now considered a ghost town as well as a National Historic Landmark District. The park contains two California Historical Landmarks: a monument to commemorate James Marshall (#143) [2] and the actual spot where he first discovered gold in 1848 (#530). [3] Established in 1942, [4] the park now comprises 576 acres (233 ha). [5]



The entire route of California State Route 153 lies within the park, and allows visitors to drive to the top of the hill where the monument to James W. Marshall stands. The Gold Discovery Museum features gold-rush-era exhibits including mining equipment, horse-drawn vehicles, household implements and other memorabilia. The American River Nature Center, operated by the American River Conservancy, features murals of local wildlife, hands-on exhibits, animal mounts and live small animals.


In 1886 the members of the Native Sons of the Golden West, Placerville Parlor #9, felt that the Marshall deserved a monument to mark the grave of the "Discoverer of Gold". In May 1890, five years after Marshall's death, Placerville Parlor #9 successfully advocated [6] the idea of a monument to the State Legislature, which appropriated a total of $9,000 [7] for the construction of the monument and tomb, the first such monument erected in California. A statue of Marshall stands on top of the monument, pointing to the spot where he made his discovery in 1848. The monument was rededicated October 8, 2010 by the Native Sons of the Golden West, Georgetown Parlor #91, in honor of the 200th Anniversary of James W. Marshall's birth. [8]

See also

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James W. Marshall Carpenter, 1848 gold discovery, California Gold Rush

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  1. "Feature Detail Report for: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park". Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). USGS. 1981-01-19. Retrieved 2014-09-21.
  2. 1 2 "Marshall Monument". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  3. 1 2 "Gold Discovery Site". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  4. "Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park" (PDF). California State Parks. 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  5. "California State Park System Statistical Report: Fiscal Year 2009/10" (PDF). California State Parks: 20. Retrieved 2014-01-23.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. "El Dorado". California State Parks. 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  7. "Honored at Last - James Marshall". County of El Dorado. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010.
  8. "Marshall Monument". Retrieved 2014-01-23.