Hwy. 49 focus of second tome of Gold Rush series | TheUnion.com

Hwy. 49 focus of second tome of Gold Rush series

“The Golden Highway, Highway 49, Volume I,” reviewed here last November, has won a Bronze medal from Independent Publishers Association. Volume II of the series – “The Golden Highway, Highway 49, Volume II, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, and Madera Counties” – released this June, covers the towns and counties along the southern portion of Highway 49 during the California Gold Rush.

Jody and Ric Horner of 19th Century Books in nearby Pilot Hill continue their chronicle of the Gold Rush years in the manner of their earlier work, with a compilation of the words and photographs of the miners and others who lived, mined and died in their quest to “strike it rich.” Gleaned from documents and personal histories, the narrative comes alive in the language of the 19th Century.

As the text and photographs point out, two absolutes in the search for gold were a dependable source of water and an abundant supply of timberland. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada had both, but the forests and rivers paid a high price. A comment from the book: “Even now, after the lapse of a third of a century, and the desecration of land, the defilement of water-courses, and the annihilation of forests, . . one may lament the work of the pioneers that has destroyed so much of beauty while building up a great and glorious State.”

The book is a banquet of information best enjoyed in several courses, county by county, along Highway 49. The bibliography is a veritable gold mine of personal sources, and the photographic restorations are superb. Visit http://www.19thCentury.us or call (800) 989-8112 for more information.


William Clark lives in Grass Valley and likes to contribute an occasional book review to the Prospector.

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