Coloma, California became the first Gold Rush town on January 24, 1848 when James Wilson Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill. The first gold seekers, who had come from across the gold in search of their fortunes, were called “forty-niners.” During the California Gold rush, what would be equal today to billions of dollars worth of gold was discovered.
San Francisco, in California, is one city that grew immensely from the Gold Rush. It was only a tiny town which became a city of tents, then a boomtown, then a town, proper. Laws were soon initiated and California became a state in 1850. Soon steamships began coming in droves to California, then the railroad was built, which furthered the Growth of California.
Some people made their journey to California from thousands of miles away and many died. Even the trip from the East Coast was long and hard. East Coast travelers would sail around the tip of South America and journey for 5-8 months to reach California. Eventually, most gold seekers took the over-land route, which held its own dangers, across the continental United States.
Typhoid fever and Cholera ran rampant at some stages of the California gold rush. Again, many perished en-route to seeking their fortune. Many sea captains had the unfortunate occurrence of their crews deserting to try their hand at discovering gold. As a result, many ships were abandoned. Thanks to innovative and enterprising San Franciscans, these abandoned ships became warehouses, taverns and inns. In one particular instance, an abandoned ship became a jail. The Gold rush of California was destined to become history as that period in time drastically changed the small, yet unknown land of California into a thriving state-hood whose economy would not have had its start without the gold rush.