In 1848, thousands of gold seekers flocked to the area following the discovery of James Marshall’s famed gold nugget in the river in the tailrace of a sawmill that Marshall and his crew were building for land baron John Sutter.
Within months, Coloma’s population had swelled to 10,000. Eventually, most of the goldseekers moved on, but the mystique of gold will forever define the area. Every year, thousands of fourth graders visit the park as part of their history appreciation curriculum.
The Gold Discovery Museum is a beautifully remodeled diorama depicting the gold discovery that instigated the California Gold Rush. The outdoor exhibits include a Mineral and Assay Office, Chinese store, Sutter’s mill replica, along with Beakert’s Gun Shop where for $7.00 you can pan for gold and find your fortune.