Located along the American River, it was at Sutter’s Mill that the great gold rush of 1949 had it’s beginnings. James Marshall, a partner of Sutter discovered gold there while overseeing the Mill operations. His primary concern was the completion of the saw-mill so he allowed workers to pan for gold when off-duty. Once then President Polk announced the gold find, Sutter’s Mill had an onslaught of prospectors, miners and others hoping to discover a fortune in gold. As a result of Marshalls find, there is now the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park on the site of the Mill and it was designated a landmark. The building that now stands is a replica of the original Sutter’s Mill that had been drawn by Marshall and also was portrayed on a picture.
The area surrounding Sutter’s Mill grew at an amazing rate during and after the Gold rush. In fact, the happenings at Sutter’s Mill were directly responsible for California becoming a state. The Mill is located in Coloma, California. Considering the great impact it had on history, it is quite an unimpressive looking little place. It looks to be little more than some old boards, a water wheel and some stairs. The fact remains, however, that it was the site of one of the most lasting historical events in American History.
The name Sutter’s Mill has been well capitalized and now is the name of a steakhouse/restaurant in the area. Many other businesses took on the handle of “Sutter’s Mill” as a result of the gold find and still take the name to this day even though the gold rush is long over.
James Marshall, the man who put Sutter’s Mill on the map, is buried in Coloma California and on the dedication is a plaque with his often repeated phrase; “Someday, They’ll make a fuss over me.” Indeed they did, as the man responsible for keeping the name of Sutter’s Mill alive long after it should have faded into the dust.