Men in the Gold Rush

The Prospecter

An Early Start

On January 24th 1848 in northern California a carpenter made a discovery in John Sutter's mill. Two gold nuggets. People known as the 49ers came to the mill a year later hoping to make a profit. The news spread and thousands of people came from everywhere to try to find some gold.

Westward Expansion

With news of gold in sutters mill, people flooded in to take part in what is known today as the California Gold Rush. Originally only 4,000 non-Native Americans were living in California. Now with the news out around 6,000 people arrived in 1848 and in 1849 around 90,000 people arrived to "strike it rich".


Men everywhere needed the basic supplies to take part in the rush. They needed a mining pan, a shovel, a pick ax, waiters, and boots. They also brought with them food, a kettle and a tent in case they spent the night.

How to pan for gold

There are a few basic steps for panning.

Step 1: Dig up red-brown dirt where most gold is found.

Step 2: Once you have gotten dirt or mud put it into your mining pan.

Step 3: Pour water from stream or water source into pan.

Step 4: Shake pan back and forth but not hard enough that the dirt or mud will drop out.

Step 5: Look very closely to see if you notice any golden specks or chunks.

Step 6: If you do you found gold. Congratulations!

Boom and Ghost towns

California was a boom-town until all the gold ran out. When the gold seemed to have disappeared and no findings were reported or mentioned people left. California was now again a ghost town with many less people. Little did most people know gold was still there just hidden and smaller than normal finds.