And you can see the gold that started the rush.
On January 24, 1848, James Marshall discovered gold flakes while constructing Sutter’s Mill near Coloma, California. News of the strike quickly reached around the world and sparked a gold rush which increased settlements not just in California but throughout the West. Over the next seven years, more than 300-thousand people came to the territory.
And the original flake? Marshall sent it to President James K. Polk. It now rests at the Smithsonian Institution.