Friday, April 4, 2008

Gold (Country) Fever

I saw a story on the local news the other night where they interviewed a man who sells mining equipment, and he said sales are up! No wonder, with the price of gold nowadays, and the state of the economy. I love living in the Gold Country, and all along Highway 49 are wonderful towns full of history. (It doesn't hurt that there are many great antiques shops and thrift stores along the way, either!) The cover of the Sunset book, above, has a photo from Nevada City. The sketches below by Otheto Weston depict images from Columbia California, some good old Miner 49ers,and a scene from a wagon train.

This postcard is a photo of (from the back of the card) "Famed Old Ben Fullingim from Tuolumne County,Calif. with his donkey Nugget on the Columbia to Angels Camp road just above Parrot's Ferry Bridge. Old Ben is a familiar sight in parades throughout Central California". He was a prospector, and certainly looked the part! And speaking of parades, Placerville is the site of the Wagon Train Parade every summer.

Last, but absolutely not least - here is a picture of our very own beloved Grandpa panning for gold sometime in the 60's. I think he must have had a bit of the "Gold Fever" himself. I think he and our uncle even used a dredge, if I recall correctly. And Uncle had a wet suit. I'm not sure how much they found , but I'm sure they found SOME!

Did you notice the Olympia beer can on the rock? Daddy used to drink that, too. We even got to tour the brewery in Tumwater, Washington years ago!


Annette said...

Oh, of course you know I love this post!! And my son inherited that gold fever, he was out last weekend checking out the creeks on the Divide, and stopped by to say Howdy, and my granddaughters like it too. I used to pan a lot in the 70s and found a little bit. But I have never dredged like Grandpa and Uncle. I have some old slides somewhere of them in their wetsuits on the Cosumnes River just off the bridge at Highway 49 at the El Dorado/Amador County border. Probably can't do that anymore. I don't know how much they found either. That would be fun to know. I still think I might strike gold someday in my own backyard. Wouldn't that be fun? Love T

Heidi Ann said...

Now that would, indeed, be fun! And I think it's entirely possible, too!

Chris Jepsen said...

Otheto Weston is a name I've seen before. She took over as the lead artist and designer at Knott's Berry Farm after Paul Von Klieben left. Interesting to see her work turn up elsewhere.