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Explore the life of a Chilean miner

Experiencing living history at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
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Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park will explore the experiences of miners who came to California from Chile.

The cultural diversity that typifies present-day California began during the California Gold Rush as people from all over the world rushed to the area in search of riches. As more people swarmed the gulches and riverbeds, good diggings became harder to find. Racial tensions mounted in this largely lawless society. Discrimination and prejudice ran rampant, affecting those who spoke a different language, or perhaps looked different. Chilean miners were no exception.

Join former state park ranger and park docent Alan Fuller Beilharz in the theater in the Visitor Center for a brief look at the state of early California civic society. The state was without law in the early gold rush, a fact that had astonishing and dreadful consequences. This program will narrate some true tales of those days as we look particularly at the treatment of the Chilean 49ers in places like Coloma and Chili Gulch. These educated, civic-minded pioneers from South America attempted to deal fairly with lawlessness and prejudice. Ultimately, they were evicted from placer mining by force. Their stories are timeless.

Fuller will also present a first person portrayal of Vicente Perez Rosales who came from Chile to California in Jan. 1849.

Living History will take place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 11 at Marshall Gold Discovery State Park in Coloma. For more information, visit parks.ca.gov/marshallgold, or call 530-622-3470.