James Marshall Monument in Coloma, California

Wide view of the monument.

California boasts many historic sites that pay homage to the Gold Rush of 1849, but this is the site of the actual first discovery of gold in 1848 that brought the so-called “49ers.” This monument to the discoverer, James Wilson Marshall, sits on a hill overlooking the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. One of the statue’s hands points to the spot where he found the gold.

Marshall, who helped design and construct a sawmill at the site, never profited from the gold discovery.

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