A M E R I C A N  E X P E R I M E N T




EUREKA! California Gold Discovery is a digital recreation of the discovery of gold in Northern California by James Marshall on January 24th, 1848. At the time, Marshall was managing a team of white, Native American, and Californio workers in the construction of a sawmill along the bank of the American River, in an area known to the native population as “Coloma.” On the morning of January 24th, Marshall was doing his normal inspection of the “race” being dug to channel water to the waterwheel (needed to power the saw) when he saw something glint in the morning sun. He had found gold! This discovery changed the course of United States history forever, directly leading to California becoming the 31st state in the union and further fueling the westward expansion of the U.S.

This recreation is the most accurate, extensive, and detailed visualization ever constructed of the sawmill and surrounding area at the time of discovery. The recreation is based on years of compiled visual research and expert curation from subject experts at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, as well as the larger Western community. Each person shown in the recreation is accurately placed based on their job on the morning of discovery.


Watch history in the making and learn about this epic achievement in the video below.