California Gold Rush

gold rush from C.E.1848 until 1855 in California

The California Gold Rush started when James Wilson Marshall was building a water-powered sawmill (for John Sutter) in 1848. When he finished building the mill, he went to the river to fetch some water. He saw some shiny little flakes of gold in the river. He immediately went to tell John, and they tried to keep it a secret. But word soon got out, and the gold rush started. It was 1849 when the Gold Rush started. People who came to California for gold were called forty-niners because they came in the year 1849. Some of them became rich but most did not.

Sailing to California for the Gold Rush.
Sailing to California for the Gold Rush.

Some people started selling things, mostly to miners at first. Some even became rich, famous, and politically powerful. Levi Strauss was one of them. He invented and sold jeans made from strong denim. Most merchants, farmers and other suppliers merely became richer than most miners. Sometimes a woman could earn more than her mining husband.

The California Gold Rush ended in 1855. Many gold miners returned to their home country because gold was harder to find than before; others found other work around the area.