Gold Pans and
Max Fianery /
California Geological Survey /
Gold Rush in North America
What Is Placer Gold?
The NPS tells us:
mining, which extracts veins of precious
minerals from solid rock, placer mining is the
practice of separating heavily eroded minerals
like gold from sand or gravel."
In 1828, gold was discovered in
northern Georgia. This developed into the first gold rush in
In 1833, the site became the city of Dahlonega.
Indian Removal Act
Today, you can visit the
Dahlonega Gold Museum.
The next major gold rush begun
when in 1848 John Sutter's carpenter
James W. Marshall
discovered gold on the South Fork of the American River,
which was located on Sutter's land in California, approx.
one hour northeast by car from what would become Sacramento
Here is James Marshall standing
in front of Sutter's sawmill at Coloma, California, the site
of his gold discovery.
James Marshall in Front of
Photomechanical reproduction of the 1850(?) daguerreotype
by R. H. Vance
Library of Congress
According to California State
This event led to the greatest mass movement
of people in the Western Hemisphere and was
the spark that ignited the spectacular
growth of the West during the ensuing
Gold was discovered in Colorado.
Today, you can tour the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine at Cripple Creek.
Gold was found along the Fraser
River, and in 1860 in the Cariboo Mountains in British
Silver Rush for the Comstock Lode begun near Virginia City in Nevada.
The Black Hills gold rush of South Dakota
The Klondike gold rush along the Klondike and the Yukon
Go here for a
map of the Klondike Gold Rush
on the Alaska Purchase page.
Map of the Trails to the Klondike Gold Fields
So far the major gold rushes of North America.