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Sutter's Mill

South Fork of the American River, Coloma, California

One of the things I really dislike is the fact that in times past, we are talking the 80's and 90's, is that all of my adventures during this time frame were photographed using film. Now don't get me wrong, I love shooting film. Truth of the matter is I like it better than digital. I believe the colors are better and that it takes a certain amount of skill to get a great foto. In today's digital age, one can shoot a foto with a cell phone and then doctor it up using an editing program and make it look fantastic. I won't do it. Well, I must admit I do download them into Windows and I do click the auto enhance. I keep some changes, or I revert them back to original. I would say its a 50/50 average. But I am getting off of the subject. Being a poor blue collar man during this time I had to be somewhat frugal in my foto shootings. For example, on this page we visit Sutter's Mill. I have exactly 6 fotos from my time there. Nowadays when I visit a ghost town or have an adventure  I shoot 30 to 50 fotos and use the ones I like on here. So, I wish I had more fotos to share but I don't. 

Way back in 1848, James Marshall was working at a saw mill owned by Captain John Sutter. Sutter had come to California to establish a "colony" in Alto California in 1839. He was granted title to over 48,000 acres in what is now known as Sacramento. He called his holdings New Helvetia which translated means New Switzerland. He was under Mexican rule until 1848 when, after a 2 year war with Mexico, the United States became the governing owner of the west coast. In January of 1848, Marshall discovered gold flakes in the American River. This discovery was kept quiet due to the war with Mexico. With the signing of the treaty with Mexico, word got out and thus began the California gold rush. Over time, more than 300,000 people would cross the plains or take a ship to California in search of making themselves rich. Very few actually became wealthy and most lost everything they owned. The smart men soon realized that money could be made not by mining, but by selling supplies to the miners. Below are the fotos of what is now a state park with the mill recreated using Marshall's own drawings and an early foto of the area. 

Sutter's Mill