The California Gold Rush of 1849
"Charles Clear, Introduction to the "Pick and Shovel
Photograph taken by Lori Howard at Woodlands, 2003.
A Scottish immigrant, James Wilson Marshall,
discovered gold in the mill race of John Sutter's sawmill
on the South Fork of the American River in 1848.
That report, once circulated around the world, brought hordes of people into
California, Scots among them. Most of them, traveling with only what they needed
to make their fortunes in California's gold fields, brought with them their
literary tastes, the music they loved and the dances they enjoyed.
"Christopher Berner, Charles Clear, Greg Reznick & Michael
and Shovel Reel"
Photograph taken by Lori Howard at Monterey, 2003.
|After a hard, back breaking day, the gold
miner sought out whatever entertainment was available: cards,
alcohol, tall tales, and traveling entertainers, among them
dancers from the Edinburgh Opera ballet.
Photograph taken by Sheila Sousa at Woodlands, 2002.
If women were a rarity on the
frontier, children were even rarer.
Child entertainers, Fairy Stars as these diminutive performers
were called, were the darlings of gold rush miners, rewarded,
as all entertainers who pleased were, with bags of gold
dust and nuggets.
Zuriah Meacham & Catherine Berner, "Tulloch
Photograph taken by Lori Howard at Pleasanton, 2003.