January 24, 1848, a hard working man named James Marshall looked down into the cold waters of the South Fork of the American River running through the mill race at Coloma, and the story of the pretty little valley was destined to change once again.
Seventy years ago a huge Centennial celebration was held and a stamp was issued showing what became a rather well known scene with the mill and two pines which grew close by, and very close to each other, so close that they almost seem to be grown together, perhaps they are. I have gathered together here several images I have found showing the trees, and the mill at its original site, which at this time is sometimes in, sometimes out of the riverbed.
Visitors at that large centennial celebration in 1948 lined up at the Coloma post office to send out first day of issue letters to those family and friends they could think of. These are very popular collectibles now, and a lot of the covers have the two trees and mill on them.
I have a couple of postcards that show the lines of happy people waiting to mail their choice of first day covers. There were many choices, some even hand painted!
There are several postcards you can still find that have copies of lithographs of the mill that show the two pine trees.
Those pines grace the cover of history books:
On December 1, 2017 we who could (retired folk, mainly, Rich had to work) gathered at the park and Ranger Barry introduced himself and there were quite a few staff there, and although we had brought shovels and some even wore gloves (good guy, David!) we found they had already very carefully planted the trees.
After he was introduced, Paul entertained us with his stories of his friendship with Tony, which went back forty years, to when Tony had first come to Lotus. I think Paul looks like what I used to call "a miner 49er" when I was a little girl.
The photo below is of Kathy, Tony's wife, and Dick, his good friend and associate.
Above Tony's son addresses us and below Craig helps a little one with her scoop.