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.
Tour contents may vary.
The Rule of ‘Supply and Demand’ was law in the life of a prospector. Prepare to buy, sell, and trade with the Assayer in attempt to build your fortune.
The Mine Shaft.
Join the ranks of a miner and journey deep into the dark mine shaft as an employee of the claim owner. Each worker will be paid their due wages for a job within the dusty mine.
Samuel Brannan created an empire in California simply off of purchasing and selling tools to the desperate miners that hurried to California. Learn the trade as a store owner and the fine law of the market.
The Boarding House.
Prospecting was far from the only way to get rich during the Gold Rush. The laundry business, house keeping, and general employment often times proved more profitable.
The Sluice Boxes
Learn the power of water redirection to discover your fortune. Get your hands dirty learning the intricacies of the long tom, and the various applications it may be applied.
Gold was first discovered in the American river. Learn the techniques of using one of the most iconic tools in California’s history to find gold straight from the source.
How much does it cost?
Tour pricing depends on group size and season. See our pricing page for details.
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 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
For groups smaller than 15 persons, please choose the “Family/Individual” option.