San Francisco February 08, 2017
These 11 Rare Photos Show San Francisco’s Gold Mining History Like Never Before
The California Gold Rush was monumental and changed the course of American history, and certainly California. The mining pictures from the Gold Rush are generally from 1848–1890. The people in these pictures were part of the 300,000 or so people who came to to California from the rest of the USA and abroad to mine for gold. Now, let’s take at these 11 rare photos showing San Francisco’s Gold Mining History!
1. On January 24, 1848 James W. Marshall discovers gold at Sutter's Mill near Sacramento. After that, things changed dramatically and historically for California and possibly the world as miners came to the area to strike rich.
2. California, especially San Francisco, has been a magnet for work for many years. In 1848, flyers advertised for people to come to California during the Gold Rush lists a variety of jobs available.
3. Forty-Niner panning for gold. Waves of people from around the world, called the "forty-niners," invaded the Gold Country of California near San Francisco. The photo dates from 1850.
4. The first miners for gold tended to be mainly men. However, women and children of all ethnicities were often found panning next to the men as more and more came to get rich from gold. This photo dates from 1850.
5. When Gold Rush hit a fever pitch, the environment was transformed as hydraulic mining started and mining began to get more developed. The picture is of Dutch Flat, California, from around 1857-1890.
6. Mining for gold was not easy work. In this photo, from between 1890-1900, there is someone sluicing for separation of gold from dirt with water.
7. During the Gold Rush, miners used a variety of techniques to extract gold. In this photo, a miner uses a rocker box, which was used as a very short sluice box to retrieve the gold. This photo is from 1850.
8. After a long day, these miners got lucky and found gold. The photo dates from the early 1850s.
9. A typical day for a gold miner was tough, here you see Gold miners in El Dorado, California. These are prospectors, some of them pictured are with shovels and axes near a ditch and flume.
10. During the California Gold Rush era, women from a variety of backgrounds were involved and needed. The photo dates from the late 1850s.
11. The variety of techniques for prospectors during the Gold Rush were numerous. Today, we can still see the effects of the Gold Rush because San Francisco would not have been as significant and populated when California was formed.
Let us know what you think of these rare historical photos. If you’re interested in history then read more about
What San Francisco Looked Like Around 100 Years Ago… It May Surprise You.