Go back in history during Gold Discovery Days

Feather Publishing

Adventure seekers will be converging on Plumas Eureka State Park in Johnsville on Saturday and Sunday, July 17 – 18. The annual Gold Discovery Days celebration will be in full swing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Sunday will kick off at 8 a.m. with the acclaimed pancake breakfast hosted by Portola Rotary Club, with musical accompaniment provided by Code Blue Grass. An added feature of the breakfast is the Sunday morning drawing, with many valuable prizes from the park’s gift shop.


All venues for the celebration are free, including the many examples of the gold miner’s lifestyle: the Moriarty family’s five-room house for their family of eight; the blacksmith shop, where all the tools for the miners were manufactured (their products are available for sale in the museum); the full-size Bushman gold stamp mill; the assay office where the value of the gold ore was determined; and the park museum featuring exhibits of the area’s historical and natural environment, including an operating scale model of the famous, nearby 60-stamp Mohawk Mill.

Throughout both days there will be demonstrations of candle making, spinning and weaving, and gold panning. Special activities for children include ice cream making, washing clothes the 19th-century way, butter churning, and homemade bread and jam.

The Plumas Ski Club will show a video and exhibit of the famous longboards — 12-foot skis, carefully honed and waxed.

In conjunction with the festivities, the Johnsville Historical Society’s St. John’s Church Museum will be open, portraying the lives of historical Johnsville families, as well as old maps and photographs of the area in its heyday.

The museum also has historical pamphlets and gold era trinkets for sale — all led off with the old-fashioned bake sale Saturday morning.

Special attractions this year include wagon rides to carry passengers throughout the day from the park museum through the old town of Johnsville to the Historical Society’s Museum and return.

There will be an architectural walking tour of the town of Johnsville, departing from the park museum at 2 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.

Wandering musicians will entertain visitors as they view the many exhibits on the state park grounds.

A musical recital will take place at St. John’s Church Museum at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for the limited seating for this recital may be purchased at the museum or by calling 530-836-0102.

Tasty food to whet visitors’ appetites will be available for a modest charge. The park association will host a barbecue outside the park museum both days, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Featured foods include hamburgers, hot dogs and authentic Cornish pasties, together with beverages and all the trimmings. The Historical Society will sell homemade ice cream at St. John’s Church.

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