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|The first Stop in Coloma, CA was
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
More videos below!!!
Regina Tellez and I took a drive up 80 through Cool California towards Coloma. Well, we pass Coloma because there were no sign from the direction we were taking. We soon found a sign that said 'Judy Drive'. I thought it was cool, so I took a picture. We then headed back the other direction and found where we were supposed to be. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. We met Rhonda and Ben and talk to the Historian in the Museum. He told us about James Marshall. James Marshal was the first person to find Gold in the Sierra's. He spilt the beans and caused the eruption of travelers to California Sierra Nevada Area, in 1848, for the 'Gold Rush'. The question the Historian asked me was, for us to find out if James Marshall was really buried underneath the Monument/Tomb. The reason he questioned this, was because only one person witnessed his burial in 1886. His monument/ tomb were not built till 1890. Therefore, did they keep him on ice for 5 years or did they move his body to the location of his monument? There is no record of him actually being buried there, according to what the historian told me. This would be very interesting to look up.
After we visited the Saint John’s Cemetery and the Pioneer Cemetery in Coloma, we ventured to the Sierra Nevada House. This house use to be a brothel owned by 'Isabella', who is known to haunt the Hotel. I talked to the new owner Keith and he welcomed us with warm reply. It was rainy and cold but we warmed our bones with their Irish green beer. Festive for Saint Patrick's Day. We looked at the famous mirror in the large dining hall. Guests have claimed to see this 'Isabella' dressed in period clothing in the mirror. Maybe she wanted to join the party. We then went upstairs to room #4 were she use to wait for her lover named 'Pete'. Legend tells that to this day she still waits for him. If she gets too lonely she is said to call out the names of the visitors who stay her room. After we ate a fabulous lunch we headed back to our cars and took a raining, long drive home. Over all it was an adventure that I will always remember.
Before our investigation Regina and I got lost and found this sign.
We met up with Rhonda and Ben at the Marshall Gold State Park
We investigated St Johns Church Cemetery and James Marshal House (below)
We investigated the Pioneer Cemetery (below)
We also tried communicating with the spirits with the use of a Frank Box (Video below)
Our Video if the investigation of the Sierra Nevada House where claims of Lady Bourdo 'Isabella', would show herself in an old 1800's mirror.
Historic Sierra Nevada House
In 1839, when the foothills of the Sierras were open wilderness and the unchallenged domain of the Miwok and Maidu Indians, an adventurous Swiss pioneer wandered into the Central Valley and built a modest fort at the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers. His name was John Sutter. His arrival would soon change the shape of American history, ushering in an era of economic boom from which the Sierra Nevada House, and much of the history of the West, would eventually find its roots.
Sutter's fort was a modest endeavor at first - a sort of self-sufficient ranch of grazing livestock and fields of planted crops and produce. But after only a few years, the California Trail opened from the east bringing thousands and thousands of emigrants across the Sierras and into the Sacramento Valley. The fort became the trail's terminus, and it was suddenly thrust into unimagined prominence.
The sleepy ranch became a bustling hub of criss-crossing travelers and pioneers, and Sutter understood that he had to expand the fort to accommodate the rising tide of wagons and people. To supply necessary timber for his growing fort, Sutter hired a skilled craftsman named James Marshall to build a sawmill in the lumber rich foothills of the Sierras. Marshall chose a flat, accessible piece of land along the banks of the South Fork of the American River, and construction of the mill began in the Coloma Valley in September, 1847.
Five months later, on January 24, 1848, while examining the banks of the diversion channel in which the mill-wheel turned, Marshall picked up an odd looking fleck of rock. He looked down at the metallic surface and stood, unknowingly, at the top of one of the most significant watersheds in American history. It was gold. Within four years, a non-native population of 14,000 persons would swell to 250,000 in the massive California Gold Rush.
Mining towns and camps sprang up throughout the Sierra foothills. Coloma Valley, the discovery zone itself, grew especially fast - housing some 4,000 new arrivals by July 1848. And with these new arrivals came, of course, the slew of cottage industries, businesses, and facilities catering to the needs and entertainment of the human population. Saloons were built. Banks erected. Mail carriers summoned. Lawmen hired.
And into this mix, just down river from Sutter's Mill and right next door to the first Wells Fargo Depot in Northern California, a beautiful hotel was constructed. It was called the Sierra Nevada House.
In the early days of the Gold Rush, the Sierra Nevada House was a way station for miners and tradesman. Throughout its heyday, the hotel was owned and operated by Robert Chalmers, a successful businessman who held 'fancy' parties in the Coloma area.
The hotel remained in operation until 1902 when it was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt shortly thereafter and became a silent movie house as well as the local Community Hall. Many local elders still remember times from their childhood spent in and around the Sierra Nevada House. The structure burned again in 1925 and was rebuilt and restored to its current standing.