One quiet morning on the banks of the rolling Sacramento River, an old saw mill worker looked down and saw a glittering lump half the size of a pea. Little did he know, but that tiny nugget would change American history forever, as the largest western migration ever experienced brought the California wilderness onto the world stage.
Gold Mine! follows Charlie and Alice, two idealistic young '49ers, and their faithful mule Nugget, as they journey west to the new land of opportunity. and find that striking gold may not be as easy as they thought.
Along the way, they encounter some of the most colorful and inspiring figures in California history: Swiss immigrant and entrepreneur John Sutter, African-American mountain man and Crow tribe warrior James Beckwourth, glamorous Irish countess Lola Montez, and even the mythical bandit Joaquin Murieta. All come together in a sequence of humorous and surprising twists, when the silly old miner Peg Leg manages to forget where he left his gold mine! Meanwhile, as the California wilderness is transformed, so is Charlie, when he discovers that the greatest secret to success might be sitting right under his nose.
Based on real personal accounts and diaries, Gold Mine's beautifully hand-drawn frames show the history of the Gold Rush-from the first discovery of gold, to the state constitutional convention, to the boisterous life of the vigilant mining towns- through the eyes of the men and women who lived it. It is a must read for kids, teachers, and history enthusiasts alike