Past this point on the old Coloma Road, running between Sutter's Fort and his sawmill on the South Fork of the American River, James W. Marshall rode with the the first gold discovered at Coloma on January 24, 1848. Traveled by thousands to and from the diggings, this road became the route of California's earliest stageline, established in 1849 by James E. Birch.
Coloma Road became one of the primary routes to the gold fields of El Dorado County. The road started at Sutter's Fort (New Helvetia, now present-day Sacramento), then proceeded to Willow Springs near Folsom, on to Mormon Island, Green Valley (near Rescue), Rose Springs, and continued to Coloma. Soon thereafter a connection to Uniontown (present-day Lotus) was built and the general road alignment for Green Valley and Lotus Roads was completed.
The marker is located at 4222 Green Valley Road at the Rescue Junction General Store in Rescue.
El Dorado County
Stretching from oak-studded foothills to the western shore of Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County is probably best known for the 1848 gold discovery at Coloma. “Old Hangtown” sprang up during the Gold Rush and was later renamed Placerville. The county name comes from the mythical land rich in gold sought by Spanish explorers.
El Dorado County was one of the original counties in California. The first county seat was Coloma, and it was superseded by Placerville for this position in 1857.
About this Establishment
California Historical Landmarks Program
Historical Landmarks are sites, buildings, features, or events that are of statewide significance and have anthropological, cultural, military, political, architectural, economic, scientific or technical, religious, experimental, or other value. Historical Landmarks are eligible for registration if they meet at least one of the following criteria:
1) Is the first, last, only, or most significant of its type in the state or within a large geographic region
2) Is associated with an individual or group having a profound influence on the history of California
3) Is a prototype of, or an outstanding example of, a period, style, architectural movement or construction or is one of the more notable works or the best surviving work in a region of a pioneer architect, designer or master builder
California’s Landmark Program began in the late 1800s with the formation of the Landmarks Club and the California Historical Landmarks League. In 1931, the program became official when legislation charged the Department of Natural Resources—and later the California State Chamber of Commerce—with registering and marking buildings of historical interest or landmarks.
In 1948, Governor Earl Warren created the California Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee to increase the integrity and credibility of the program. Finally, this committee was changed to the California Historical Resources Commission in 1974. Information about registered landmarks numbered 770 onward is kept in the California Register of Historical Resources authoritative guide. Landmarks numbered 669 and below were registered prior to establishing specific standards, and may be added to the California Register when criteria for evaluating the properties are adopted.
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Time Period Represented
Early Gold Rush (1848-1850s)