An astounding amount of gold was pulled from the ground during the California gold rush. In 1852 the take for the year was $80 million ($1.9 billion in 2005 dollars). This map shows some of the important mines of the gold rush.
Sutter's Mill/Coloma | January 24, 1848
James Marshall kicked off the California gold rush when he spotted some pea-sized bits of gold in a mill raceway. The news brought thousands of prospectors to the area, but neither Marshall nor his employer John Sutter prospered from the find.
Bidwell's Bar | July 4, 1848
Another employee of Sutter, John Bidwell, made his own strike further north in an area that became known as Bidwell's Bar. The land was so rich with gold that one miner later built a three-story mansion with his profits and still had enough gold left to bury $100,000 ($2.4 million in 2005 dollars) of it for safekeeping.
Comstock Lode | 1859
The discovery of silver on the other side of the Sierras in Nevada brought an end to the California gold rush; at its height, about $80 million (some $1.9 billion in 2005 dollars) had been pulled annually from the gold fields, but that figure had fallen by almost half when the Comstock Lode was discovered.
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