The Golden Drift Museum, located in Dutch Flat, embraces all of the history and grandeur of the Sierra Nevada Mountains through exhibits that helped define this region of Placer County. American Indian life, the Gold Rush, the timber industry and the Transcontinental Railroad are all interpreted through displays of artifacts and photographs. The museum also highlights the Chinese who came to the area in search of gold. The towns of Gold Run, Dutch Flat, Alta, Towle, and Baxter are featured in this museum.
Gold mining really hit its peak in this region with the advent of hydraulic mining. Dutch Flat and Gold Run, first known as Mountain Springs, were adjacent to hydraulic diggings that produced millions of dollars. These mines were still in full operation when the landmark legal case of California v. North Bloomfield Mining Company and California v. Gold Run Ditch and Mining Company brought the industry to its knees.
Thanks to the foresight of Theodore Judah and the assistance of Dr. D. W. Strong, the route of the first Transcontinental Railroad passed through Gold Run and Alta. Today, the transcontinental highway system closely follows the route forged by the railroad over 100 years ago. The museum is part of the Dutch Flat Historic District which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum is located at 32820 Main St. in Dutch Flat. Driving directions: From eastbound I-80, take the Dutch Flat exit and turn left onto Ridge Rd. Turn left onto Sacramento St., then right onto Bear River Rd., which becomes Main St. The museum will be on the right.
From I-80 westbound, take the Dutch Flat exit and turn right onto Ridge Rd., then follow the directions above.