Friday, November 16, 2012

Exploring a Gold Rush Town

The last place we visited before heading home on our road trip last month was Columbia State Historic Park. It was much more than just a historic park. It was a hands on walk through a town in the Gold Rush era. It's located in Columbia, California just off Highway 49, near Sonora. I can't say enough about it. We spent 5 hours there & would have loved to explore even more.


MAIN STREET
The whole street was like walking through a living museum. We walked through town visiting many of the buildings.





COLUMBIA MUSEUM
We asked where we should start & someone dressed in period attire told us to begin at the museum. So, that's what we did. Honestly, the kids were a little bored in the museum. But, it had lots of good information. It also had a dress up corner for the kids. Which, of course, they dress upped & I took some fun pics.
Plaster cast of a 132 oz. gold nugget found near Columbia.

Common items of the women in the 1800's.

Mining supplies

Schooling in the late 1800's


 FIREHOUSE




BLACKSMITH SHOP
A working blacksmith's shop

Many items were for sale.

This cat roamed the street, which seemed very pioneerish.


DOUGLASS SALOON
We ate lunch in the saloon. The hubby & I shared their ginormous nachos. The kids had hot dogs.



CANDY KITCHEN
We stopped into a cute candy shop & let the kids each pick out a candy.


The candy shop had these fun, but almost creepy, masks to buy.


 BOWLING SALOON
We bowled on a real wooden 10 pin bowling alley.



 WE PEEKED IN SOME WINDOWS






 A FEW SIGNS CAUGHT MY ATTENTION




GOLD PANNING
Our favorite activity was panning for gold. We mostly found fool's gold & gems. But, it was still super fun.


This was a great experience that our entire family enjoyed. I especially liked it because as a homeschooling mama I'm always trying to find fun ways to teach my kids. Before we left on our road trip we had been studying the westward movement, including the gold rush. I couldn't have asked for a better way to reinforce the information from that era than actually walking through an 1800's gold rush town.

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