|The Fricot Nugget at the State Mineral Museum in Mariposa, California|
|The southern Mother Lode in the vicinity of Columbia and Sonora.|
California Geological Survey, some 4 million ounces of gold, worth about four billion dollars at today's prices was mined here. The entire production of gold in California over the last 150 years amounted to about 110 million ounces, so this one mining area produced a significant percentage of all the gold mined in California.
It's probably no surprise to realize that the Gold Rush was a disaster for the native cultures in California. The indigenous people already been decimated by European diseases and unfortunately some of them lived in gold country. They never had a chance against the influx of tens of thousands of miners from all over the world. Some tribes disappeared entirely, and others barely hung on to their lives and culture.
Columbia State Historical Park. The stores and restaurants were refurbished and visitors are treated to park employees and business owners in period dress. And a dandy candy store that is often the only business still open when our students arrive in town at the end of our field trip.