More nuggets from the gold rush

1852 Columbia

In 1858 a nugget over 50 pounds and worth $8500 was discovered sitting beside a well-used trail about a half-mile outside of Columbia where it had been passed often by many travelers. In Sonora in 1851 a man tripped over a rock that turned out to be a quartz nugget made up of more gold than quartz. Another Sonoran, while leading a mule that pulled his cart along the main street in town, bumped into a rock in the roadway. He stooped to remove it and found it to be a 35-pound, solid gold nugget that hundreds of people had passed by every day.

When a Frenchman at Spring Gulch near Columbia found a nugget about the same size as the one General Mason sent back east he became so excited that he went insane and had to be sent to Stockton. The nugget was sold and the proceeds sent to his family in France. But one of the largest nuggets was found by a group of three or four men who had very little trust in one another. They first brought their prize to San Francisco where they put it on exhibit and guarded it night and day. Then they took their treasure on a tour of the eastern states but quarreled so bitterly that eventually the lawsuits that evolved from their distrust ate up the entire value of their magnificent discovery and they all wound up with nothing.



  1. And so goes the story of greed and history. What cautionary tales that so many people do not even know of. Thanks for these great pieces of history.

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