Well, its that time again:  time to commemorate my town’s mining heritage, and celebrate its (pretty impressive) claim to fame–namely, the discovery in 1859 of the largest true gold nugget found in California.  It weighed 54 lbs troy (pure).  A nice source for factual California Gold info can be found HERE.

Donkey Derby

NOTE:  All pictures found on THIS site, as well as more info regarding this year’s celebration 🙂

Our annual Gold Nugget days usually occur the last weekend in April (well thursday actually), and include a spaghetti feed, contest to choose the Gold Nugget Queen, a clever play from the era (cancelled this year due to GREED at the Paradise Performing Arts Center), a “living museum” complete with actual gold panning (for actual gold dust), numerous period exhibits, community BBQ, crafts of all types, and the highlight of every annual celebration, the PARADE!

On Saturday, the festivities are kicked off by a reenactment of the frantic trip from Whiskey Flats to Dogtown via donkey.  The entire event is co-sponsored by E.Clampus Vitus, a group originally formed to help the widows and children of miners who lost their lives digging for gold (or other elements).  The Clampers (as they are known locally) are a benevolent group that manage to do good in spite of their notorious reputation hereabouts.  For example, Ive heard that the aluminum (read empty beer cans) collected from their annual chili cookoff/campout made quite an impressive donation to a local childrens’ charity.   Enough of that, back to the GOLD!!!

This was a nice tidbit from the California Gold Mines site:


California Gold Region 5 is in Northern California and extends from Millerton Lake State Recreation Area, in Fresno County, about 40 miles south of Yosemite National Park, northward to about five miles north of Quincy, in Plumas County. It extends  eastward from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe and the Nevada state line. Gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, which led to the California Gold Rush in 1849.

California Gold Region 5 embraces Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake, Sacramento, Carmichael, Columbia, Auburn, Placerville, Nevada City, Grass Valley, Angels Camp, Yuba City, Marysville, Oroville, Paradise, Magalia, Downieville, Mariposa, Coarse Gold, Coloma and Jamestown.

Because of the proliferation of gold deposits here, California Gold Region 5 is known as the California Mother Lode. There is no fixed definition of the boundaries of the “Mother Lode”, and actually no true “mother lode” exists. Some geologists define the boundaries as extending further southeast into California Gold Region 4 and further northwest into region 6. In any case, this is a very gold-rich area that has drawn worldwide attention and stimulated migration to California. Pioneers flocked westward across the U. S. plains in covered wagons and people came from Germany, China and other countries to seek gold in California.

California’s largest true gold nugget weighed 54 pounds troy. It was found in California Gold Region 5 at Magalia, in Butte County.

LINK:  http://www.goldmaps.com/calif/california_gold_mines_5.htm

if that doesnt give you Gold Fever, I  dont know what will!!!

If you happen to live anywhere near Northern California, I highly recommend a trip to the sleepy mountain town of Paradise, to take part in our raucous celebration!  Come hungry, but come!

~ by irishgrl on April 23, 2010.

One Response to “54 LB GOLD NUGGET FOUND!!”

  1. […] 54 LB GOLD NUGGET FOUND!! April 2010 […]

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