In 1848, while working at a sawmill in Coloma, California, James W. Marshall discovered gold flakes in the American River.
The Gold Rush was California’s defining moment, a moment immortalized by the state’s motto “Eureka! I have found it!” What California found, however, went beyond gold. The state found its identity as a melting pot of people, cultures and ideas that persists to this day. This moment of self-discovery was California’s true “eureka moment.”