The California Gold Rush was a very significant event that occurred in American History, it brought many settlers from the East coast and brought them west. They traveled thousands of miles across the United States because they were in search of gold, a very prosperous metal. People were looking for a way to make quick money and strike it rich.
The California Gold Rush started when John Sutter, a Swiss emigrant, arrived in California in 1839. Soon after he arrived in California, he became a Mexican citizen and received a land grant for 50,000 acres in Sacramento Valley. On this land, he built Sutter's Fort, which happens to be where present day Sacramento is now. At Sutter's Fort, he developed farming and other businesses. Sutter's Fort became a rest station for travelers and immigrants to California during the 1840?s. In 1847, John Sutter hired a man named John Marshall to build a sawmill at a place, which he named Coloma.
While constructing the sawmill, John Marshall discovered a small piece of metal, which he thought was gold. He brought the piece of metal to Sutter and he confirmed that it was gold. Sutter, afraid that news of gold on his property would bring his workers out of the fields and people flocking to his land in search of gold decided to keep this a secret. But someone didn?t hold their end of the bargain and word got out that there was gold in California.
By 1849, the news of gold had spread throughout the US and people from all of the US and the world were ?rushing? to California. They came to California in covered wagons usually pulled by oxen or mules. They had to travel thousands of miles across rugged terrain to get to California. They also had to plan a time when it would be right to go because they would not want to get stuck in the Sierra Mountains during the winter. They also had to pack everything they would need along the way in a wagon about 9 feet wide and 4 feet long. Many people died along the trail from starvation and illness.
All of these people were expecting to find tons of gold but most found thousands of crowds of miners near the riverbanks. By 1850, the mining country in California had become very populated. All people that had come out to California in search of gold left their previous profession behind so they started businesses utilizing their past professions. Businesses were charging a lot of money for usually cheap supplies. People mined for gold by panning for it, using a method called ?The Long Tom?, .In the mid-1850?s, gold was becoming very scarce and people were making more money selling to the miners than they were with finding gold. The gold rush brought many people to California. Farms, ranches, stores, restaurants and other businesses that grew to serve the miners continued to take advantage of California's rich agriculture and growing industry to form what it is today.