The California Gold Rush

Everything you need to know

The Gold Nugget

The California Gold Rush started in January 24, 1848. It was discovered by James W. Marshall, he found a gold nugget at the American River. When the news of Marshall's discovery went around, California was crowded with thousands of Prospectors.


The population of Prospectors, also known as "49ers" increased dramatically. San Francisco grew from 1,000 in 1848, to 20,000 Prospectors in 1850. The population increased so swiftly that California was incorporated as the 31st state in the union in 1850, two years after the Mexican-American War. They all hoped to find their fortune.

Extra Imformation


Getting to the west

Early Prospectors would travel in covered wagons. This made for a very hard journey. The trip would take over 6 months. The settlers needed to find a quicker and easier way to get to California. This gave birth to the railroad.