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Sutter's Mill

Colma, California
July 13, 2013

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The docent at the visitor center did his best to discourage any romantic image around the gold digs along the American River in the 1850s: miners rolling gold dust in balls of mercury, machines hammering so loudly that the men working them went deaf in a matter of weeks, water cannons turning the Sierra slopes into a muddy slough.

We listened as long as our stomachs could take it and then backed away, outside into the heat, to see the rebuilt structure where it all started, California's first gold rush.