Gold Rush Timeline

January 1848James Marshall finds goldJames Marshall was working in California to build a water pump. While in the river he found a shiny metal which turned out to be gold.
March 1848Reports about gold aren’t believedA local newspaper heard about the gold discovery and reported about it. Most people in the area didn’t believe it.
August 1848The gold rush beginsJames Marshall tried to keep his discovery a secret, but word quickly spread. By August there were 4000 gold mines in the areas.
November 1848The first minted goldThe first shipments of gold sent to the mint left from San Francisco. The ship carried over $500,000 of gold.
1849The coming of the 49’ersThe year of 1849 brought travelers from all over the world. They all came to get rich.
February 1849Women come to get a husbandPapers advertised for women to come to San Francisco to get husbands among the miners.
June 1849A government is formedThe lands were wild and lawless because of so many people arriving at once. The people attempted to set up a government to rule the land.
December 1849San Francisco becomes a booming metropolisSan Francisco became the central city for the gold mining towns. Businesses popped up all over the place to accommodate the gold miners.
January 1850The Compromise of 1850 is passedCalifornia wanted to become an official state, but they wanted to be free from slavery. The Compromise helped smooth out the anger of those who wanted to keep slaves.
May 1850Another gold shipment leaves San FranciscoThis time the shipment carried a whopping 1.5 million dollars’ worth of gold.
1850The gold runs outMost of the gold on the surface was picked clean by 1850. Men kept coming, though, hoping to get lucky.
December 1850The fires of San Francisco
Four huge fires swept the area during the year, burning hundreds of buildings and killing many people. The citizens raised money to set up a fire station.
1853Hydraulic Mining is IntroducedMining with machines became the preferred way to mine because the machines could dig deeper into the ground. Miners began working for mining companies who owned the machines.
1857The gold rush stabilizedThe gold rush finally fell off in 1857, when the gold output stabilized at around 45 million dollars a year.
1884Hydraulic mining is outlawedA California judge finally outlawed hydraulic mining because it tore up the land.