The Gold Rush

The Gold Rush is the next live audio-visual presentation the Just Enough Regional History series by Hank Meals.  The series consists of five sessions designed to provide the fundamentals of historical savvy in the Yuba River region. The Gold Rush is the third installment in the five part series, taking place at 7p.m. on Tuesday, November 5, at the North Columbia Schoolhouse in North San Juan. Subsequent presentations in this series are: After the Gold Rush on Nov. 19, and Legacy in the Local Landscape on Dec. 3.

The Yuba, Bear and American Rivers have played a major role in California’s history.  Personalities and incidents in this dramatic story have influenced science, industry and ethics on a world-wide scale with good and bad consequences.  With so much heritage surrounding us how can a person begin to appreciate it?

Local history buff, archaeologist and author, Hank Meals is offering a series of slide shows with live commentary on regional history at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center on San Juan Ridge in October, November and December of 2019.  It won’t be the dense and dull history that you endured in High School, but “just enough,” Meals says, “to make you somewhat legacy literate.”  “So much of the commercially oriented history we’re exposed to consists of jumbled clichés, inaccuracies and cuteness – It’s simply not satisfying enough when the full stories are so engaging and illuminating. I’ve found that knowing what happened in your neighborhood makes you see a place differently, gives it extra texture and creates a sense of regional pride and ownership.”

Nebraska Claim at French Corral

The Gold Rush

During the California Gold Rush a man, regardless of his prior social status, was “measured by his pile” and woman had entrepreneurial and social opportunities that had never existed before. It was a frenzied, colorful, chaotic and unique time. Far from a perfect world there was also brutality, racial discrimination and environmental havoc.

Nevertheless, there were attempts at self-governance, a cosmopolitan atmosphere, and a cultural dimension that was fresh and invigorating. Many of the ideas that still define California emerged in this era. Hard work was unavoidable, and discovery was a daily event. By the end of the 1850s the party that was the Gold Rush was over and people either settled in or moved on.

Each 90-minute presentation in this series is rich with unique historical and contemporary photos, maps and diagrams.  Meals will provide commentary, answer questions and offer references and enthusiasm for the topics addressed. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Content and photos provided by Hank Meals