Tales of the Wild West - Miners
By Rick Steber
Published: December 12, 2012.
The discovery of gold in Califonia launched the nation's first gold rush.
It began January 23, 1848. James Marshall, who was building a sawmill for John Sutter on the American River in the Sierra Nevada foothills, turned water from the millpond into the tailrace. A glimmer in the clear water caught his eye and he picked up a yellow rock about the size of a dime and weighing one-quarter ounce.