The discovery of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley in 1848 created an event that significantly shaped American history. The California Gold Rush brought people from all over the country to the western U.S. in hopes of striking it rich. A total of $2 billion worth of precious metal was extracted from the California territory during the Gold Rush which reached its peak in 1852 and was over by the end of the decade. Individual mining efforts were replaced by businesslike operations and lawless and violent mining camps became permanent settlements. After the Gold Rush ended, many independent minors became wage laborers. But, what happened to the mines left behind?
Many modern day miners have made it their life’s mission to find the