Author: Christian Montoya

Sutter’s Mill Marshall Gold Discovery

Tucked in the Foothills of the Sierra Nevadas… The Coloma river is a great place to play…and pan for gold! California was largely unpopulated in 1848 and just becoming a U.S. territory after the Mexican-American War. A Swiss immigrant named John Sutter had a supply fort, in what is now Sacramento, to support the few pioneers coming west in search of fertile farm land. Sutter commissioned James Marshall to build him a sawmill 45 miles away along the bank of the American River. On January 24, 1848, James Marshall happened upon a few small flakes of gold by the...

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Haunted Hotels of California [Spooky Travel Destinations]

What the average man calls Death, I believe to be merely the beginning of Life itself.  We simply live beyond the shell.  We emerge from out of its narrow confines like a chrysalis.  Why call it Death?  Or, if we give it the  name Death, why surround it with dark fears and sick imaginings?  I am not afraid of the Unknown. — From Rudolph Valentino’s diary. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, there are many places that claim to have unexplainable occurrences that can only be attributed to hauntings of lost souls. To some, experiencing such an event...

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The Victorian Village of Ferndale, CA [Trip Planner]

Nestled in the fertile farmlands of the California North Coast, surrounded by forests of towering Coast Redwoods and far from the tourists of any major California attraction, is the quaint little town of Ferndale. First settled in the mid 1800’s, Ferndale has a large collection of Victorian storefronts and homes which earned the entire town a California Historical Landmark #883 and the nickname, ‘Victorian Village of Ferndale’. A walk down Main Street is a trip back in time when locals rode in on wagon, purchased dry goods from the local mercantile store, meats from the butcher and stopped off...

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California Missions: History & Ghosts [Holy and Frightful]

Where you step back in time to a New World… From 1769 to 1823, Spain built missions all along the California coast in their conquest to convert the indigenous people to Christianity and as strongholds for their newly claimed territories Twenty-one Spanish missions can be found along the ‘King’s Highway’ in California, which is today Highway 101. California Missions are the oldest structures in state and feature early churches, cemeteries, bell towers, garden courtyards, living quarters and more. They once served as trade centers for food, grain, hides, wine and more. Today, they are tourist attractions and some are...

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California Lighthouses [Discovery Spotlight]

“Lighthouses are noble human achievements, the material from whence comes drama, poetry, artistry, peril and rescue. They are guideposts marking watery highways leading to everywhere…” There are nearly 50 lighthouses located along the shore of California. As the population of San Francisco exploded from the 1849 Gold Rush, the great migration and demand for building materials increased the ship traffic along the coast. The first lighthouse on the west coast was erected on Alcatraz Island in 1854 in response to a growing number of shipwrecks. Lighthouse keepers would live at each lighthouse with their families to ensure the light...

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A Joy Filled Life by Mo Anderson