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Gold Rush


Catch yourself some Gold Fever and be a Forty-Niner! There’s gold in them thar hills!

Gold was discovered in California in 1848. Imagine travelling a thousand miles just for a chance to find your fortune. After you arrive, you will be greeted by local miners bearing the news of the mother lode. Head straight on up to the long tom sluice, the mine and the gold fields! Get supplies on credit and start digging and panning!

Throughout the day you’ll learn about 49er life, including the feuds between the farmers and the miners and how gold was found. You might even learn the hard way about supply and demand. How could someone be charged $100 for a glass of water, and $1,500 for rent? Find out how millionaires made their money as you watch the price of gold! Buy low, sell high! Make sure you visit the Assayer to sell your gold for as much as you can!

You’ll get a break for lunch at high noon, during which you are served a light miner’s ration. If that’s not enough to fill your belly, make sure to stop in at the General Store and bakery for food items like our famous 5lb apple pie.

At the end of the day, count up your currency and participate in an auction where fortune-seekers bid on prizes for their hard work.

Your day at the Gold Mine may include some of the activities listed on the Itinerary page.


Assayers Office.
Your day normally starts at the assayer’s office where you can buy supplies on credit, change gold for money and buy gold claims. Be careful, if the demand for tools goes up and gold is plentiful you may see drastic increases in the price of supplies!
The Mine Shaft.
Head down into the mine and shovel dirt into a hand cart, which you’ll roll on the rails into the daylight. Use sifters to find larger chunks of gold.
The Gold Fields.
It is here in the gold fields that a miner makes his home. Buy a claim from the assayer to help your hopes of striking it rich, but beware of claim jumpers!
The Cabin.
Laundry businesses made a fortune with just the gold dust left in the miners’ Levi’s. Explore the mine house, do some chores, and pick up a nugget or two in the process.
The Sluice Boxes
After dirt is dumped from the mine into the sluice boxes, learn how to separate the large nuggets from the small bits of dirt.
Gold Panning.
Pick up a gold pan in the assayers office and try your hand at “Placer Mining” This is how most of the gold on the claim sites is found.


Tour contents may vary.


When should we arrive?

At least 15 minutes prior to the start of your tour.

What is the maximum group size?

We require a minimum of 60 guests to schedule this tour. Once that is met, any size group may add on up to our maximum of 420 total guests.

Can we buy food?

There is on site food at the Bakery and Restaurant which can be ordered or purchased throughout the day.

Can we bring our own lunch?

Most schools bring lunches for the students, and you will be given a picnicking area for lunch.

How do we get there?

See Map for driving directions.

What is the typical age group for this tour?

This tour’s educational content is aimed at 4th grade curriculum, but is great fun for all ages.

Do I need to group my students a certain way before I get there?

No. This tour is rather unique among all of our programs in that our guests are free to choose which station they visit and for how long. Guests move freely about, as they would in a camp or town, deciding for themselves the best course of finding gold and selling it for currency.

Do I need to cover any specific topics with my students before the trip?

Not unless you wish to. As with all of our programs, our historians teach as they go. Extra knowlege can help, but is not required.

Do I need reservations?

Large groups need reservations, but individuals may join a tour in progress for $16 if space is available.


“On behalf of Cub Pack 242 of Grand Terrace, we attended your Gold Rush tour today. I must say our guides, Jeremiah & Brandon were absolutely amazing!! We were truly taken back to 1849! My son who is 7 on the way home was talking about how he loved digging for gold, how he even pushed the mining cart in the mine shaft. The auction was an eye opener for the scouts they said that is why we always carry water with us! I cant thank Jeremiah & Brandon enough for such a great time not to mention how the life lessons of 1849 were subtle but my cub scouts got the moral of the lessons taught today. Gentlemen I congratulate you on a tour that we will be back on! Thank you thank you!!”     -Brandy from Grand Terrace

“My son and I participated in your Gold Rush on Thursday with our Cub Scout pack. I have to tell you how much I truley enjoyed the experience. I’m a teacher in the Colton Joint Unified school district and I fully intend to bring my class for this every year from this point on. I really enjoyed the lessons our boys learned about California’s past.”     -Dawn from Upland

“I wanted to tell you how much my class enjoyed the Gold Rush Experience at Riley’s Farm last week.  It really helped to drive home how gold fever took over people.  We had read and studied all about Sutter’s Mill and Samuel Brannan, but the experience at the farm and the auction really made it stick for them.  Your three educators/reenactors were great as well.  They had just the right amount of entertainment as well as being able to keep order over the rush of gold fever that took over the hillside.   I look forward to your other reenactments.  Thanks again for everything.”      -Andrea


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