Coloma has quite a significant role in California history, but on display is everything from panning to hard rock mining to hydraulicking (which made me pretty happy). They had a hydraulic monitor or two on display.
but oh! The best part was hanging around in the blacksmith shop talking with the Smiths. We chatted about "courting candles" and the advantage of having big thumbs, or "sticky fingers." And then there was the "old fashioned blackberry soda pop." Delicious!
So, courting candles... these things have lost their place nowadays, but part of me wonders why. Long time ago, fathers would set out the courting candle when a young man (a beau) came to call on his daughter. The father would twist the candle higher or lower and light the candle. When the wick burned down as far as he had turned it, the young man had to leave. If the father liked the young man, he might turn the candle a little higher. But if he didn't, to save everyone the grief of entertaining the guy, the father could also turn the candle lower. Rather nifty, huh?
I really do love old things!
|Sutter's Mill replica|
|the actual remains of the mill|
|inside a replica of a miner's cabin|
|inside the mining exhibit (placer mining = panning (sort of))|
|the blacksmith shop, my great-great grandfather used to run one in Hilmar, CA|