Tue, Oct 2 2012 06:36
Gold Nugget Museum
Television shows such as "Gold Rush Alaska" and "Gold Fever" have inspired a new generation of wannabe prospectors hoping to find flakes and nuggets at the bottoms of their gold pans or in the ridges of their sluice boxes. Since the late 1840s, individuals have migrated to California, searching high and low in hopes of striking it rich.
The Gold Nugget Museum houses a collection of exhibits and publications about the gold rush era and is staffed entirely by volunteers. The Museum hosts events throughout the year, such as Tent City, where you can see how the miners lived and learn panning and mining techniques. The Miss Gold Nugget Pageant is open to high school juniors who not only must create their own gold rush period dresses, but submit portfolios as well.
If chilly metal folding chairs don't bother you, ask a docent to pop in one of the many DVDs they show throughout the day. If you're lucky enough to catch the same film I did, John Lithgow will merrily narrate a fascinating history of the trials and tribulations of the miners, complete with how they travelled and what they ate. Docents are happy to supplement the stories with additional information and suggest other educational materials. Be sure to leave a donation to keep the Museum running!