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The California Gold Rush of 1849

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We at Resort Property Realty, Inc. love where we live, play, and work. The Eastern Sierra Nevada’s are majestic and beautiful with so many outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy. The history of California is long and interesting. One moment in California state history that is probably most well known among people not from the state is the California Gold Rush of 1849. Mammoth Lakes, CA is located south east of where most of the gold fields were located, however many gold miners tried there luck in and around the region that Mammoth Lakes is currently located in Inyo County. Below are some interesting facts about the Gold Rush of 1849 and its long term effects in our culture.

1849 California Gold RushThe California Gold Rush occurred between 1848 and 1855. Historians agree that the rush began around January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter’s Mill near Coloma, California. James Wilson Marshall was originally a carpenter from New Jersey. After he found found flakes of gold in the American River at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains he tried to keep it under wraps but the news eventually spread, and it spread fast. Among the first to flock to the newly discovered California gold region were people in Oregon, Hawaii, and Latin America. Many of these people arrived in late 1848.

In December of 1848 President James K. Polk announced the reports of gold in California. His endorsement spurred many to travel to California in search of gold in 1849. Called “forty-niners”, in reference to the year they set out, they faced a difficult trip. Many men borrowed money, mortgaged their property or spent their life savings to afford the arduous journey to California. While California Gold Rush Mapmost forty-niners were Americans, tens of thousands of ’49ers came from Latin American, Europe, Australia and China. Early in the gold rush there we many accounts of finding gold nuggets lying on the ground. Gold was also recovered from streams and riverbeds by using the panning technique. Eventually more sophisticated methods for harvesting gold from the river water were developed. The rush caused a huge increase in the population of California. In March of 1848 the population of the entire state was only about 800. It later jumped to 20,000 at the end of the year and 100,000 in 1849. Many gold mining towns sprang up filled with lawless activities and hardened miners. San Francisco developed a bustling economy as a side effect of the Gold Rush and became the central metropolis of the new frontier.

Though gold mining continued throughout the 1850s, it had reached its peak by 1852, when about $81 million was pulled from the ground. After that year, the total take declined gradually, leveling off to around $45 million per year by 1857. As gold became more and more difficult to reach, the growing industrialization of mining drove more and more miners from independence into wage labor. The new technique of hydraulic mining, developed in 1853, brought enormous profits but destroyed much of the region’s landscape. Settlement in California continued, however, and by the end of the decade the state’s population was 380,000. The effects of the Gold Rush were substantial. San Francisco grew from a small settlement of about 200 residents in 1846 to a boomtown of about 36,000 by 1852. Roads, churches, schools and other towns were built throughout California. You can even still see many common Gold Rush themes in pop culture today with the 49ers (San Francisco’s Professional Football Team), the Long Beach State 49ers, the Sacramento Gold Miners (the First American team in the Canadian Football League) and in other areas of life like the 1849 Condos of Mammoth Lakes. The 1849 Condos of Mammoth are some of the most popular condominium complexes in or around Mammoth Lakes. They often sell shortly after they hit the market and it is important to get on a real estate agents mailing list if you are looking to buy an 1849 condo in Mammoth Lakes, CA. Contact Resort Property Realty, Inc. to learn more about getting on the mailing list and more about 1849 Condos.

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