Marshall Gold Discovery SHP
State Historic Park
The World Rushed In
James W. Marshall discovered gold in 1848 on the South Fork of the American River in the valley the Nisenan Indians knew as Cullumah. This event led to the greatest mass movement of people in the Western Hemisphere and was the spark that ignited the spectacular growth of the West during the ensuing decades. The gold discovery site, located in the still visible tailrace of Sutter's sawmill, in present day Coloma California, is one of the most significant historic sites in the nation.
James W. Marshall found shining flecks of gold in the tailrace of the sawmill he was building for himself and John Sutter. This discovery in 1848 changed the course of California's and the nation's history. See a replica of the original sawmill and over 20 historic buildings including mining, house, school, and store exhibits.
Visitors have the opportunity to try panning for gold in the American River and enjoy hikes and picnics under the riparian oak woodlands. Overlooking the beautiful river canyon, where the gold discoverer rests today, see California's first historic monument, the statue of James Marshall pointing at his gold discovery site .
Come participate in tours or special events, see exhibits and "Living History Days" planned regularly throughout the year; contact the Gold Discovery Museum and Visitor Center for details. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is proud to now offer the Eureka Experience school and group programs, and gold panning lessons for park visitors.
Gold Discovery Tour
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is pleased to now offer visitors a guided walking tour! Come experience the Gold Discovery Tour. This tour will tell the story and view the sites of what The Coloma Valley was like before James Marshall's gold discovery, the events leading up to his incidental discovery, and the history of the California Gold Rush and town of Coloma.
Living History Days at Marshall Gold Discovery SHP
Every second Saturday of each month we offer our Living History days to visitors. The park will be filled with docents dressed in period clothing roaming the park or set up at stations for demonstrations. From rope making, to candle dipping, dutch oven cooking, sawmill wood workers and games from the past, you will feel like you have stepped back in the time!
Living History Day's are the second Saturday of each month from 10:00am-3:00pm. Due to extreme weather Living History Day's may be cancelled, please call the museum at (530) 622-3470 to check ahead of time.
Group Reservations 2013-2014
Check school and group information page for change in reservation dates and procedures.
School and Group Information
Summer and spring are warm; fall and winter can be cool. Layered clothing is advised.
The park is located in Coloma on Highway 49 between Placerville and Auburn.
- Hours of Operation:
- Park Office Telephone:
Gold Discovery Museum and Visitor Center
Gold Rush Mercantile
Day Use Areas
Labor Day to Beginning of Memorial Day Weekend
8 am - 5 pm
Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day
8 am - 7 pm
Open Monday - Sunday
November - March
10:00 am till 4:00 pm
March - November
10:00 am till 5:00 pm
Park closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day
North Beach and Monument Picnic Area Closed November 1- March 1
310 Back Street
Coloma, CA 95613
PO Box 265
Coloma, CA 95613