Gold Rush Days!
150 Years of Striking Gold
— Megan Peralta
On April 6 and 7, the annual Julian Gold Rush Days will celebrate the discovery of gold 150 years ago.
In the winter of 1869, a former slave named Fred Coleman made the discovery that would change the course of history for Southern California. Word traveled surprisingly quickly back then, and within weeks, more than 800 prospectors were flocking to these mountains in hopes of mining their fortunes from the granite, quartz and mica.
As a result, San Diego County experienced its own Gold Rush era for approximately 30 years.
Julian Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring this commemorative celebration, and Ryan and Gina Cross, owners of Julian Mining Company and Julian Farm and Orchard, will host the event at 4381 Highway 78.
Each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Gold Rush Days guests can try their skills in panning for gold, gem sluicing, square dancing and much more. Entry is free, and tickets can be purchased for additional fun, with activities such as hayrides, archery and candle making.
For information about additional activity tickets and amenities, call the Chamber at 760-765-1857 or visit www.visitjulian.com.
Food trucks and a beer garden will be on-site, because having so much fun can work up an appetite.
Among this year’s highlights will be Civil War reenactments, in remembrance of the soldiers who migrated westward after the war. These settlers — and the discovery of gold — were instrumental in establishing the town of Julian.