Before James Marshall’s gold discovery, Coloma was a peaceful town called Culluma. Coloma was called Culluma because of the tribe that lived there in Coloma. After James Marshall discovered gold, the name Culluma was “Americanized” and was then called Coloma. A man named Pearley Monroe was raised in Coloma and lived there for a long time. He arrived there at 12 years old, and the house he built can still be seen years later. The book The Adventures of Pearley Monroe is set in Coloma. Coloma is a great place of importance because of the gold discovery made there by James Marshall, which sparked the California Gold Rush.
 By Nimi, Regina


On January 24, 1848, an event happened at Coloma, which caused the biggest migration of people ever in the world. James W. Marshall was building a sawmill for Captain John Sutter. He noticed flakes of metal in the water. Marshall recognized them to be gold flakes. He tried keeping the discovery a secret, but word spread quickly and triggered the California Gold Rush of 1849.

Until the Gold Rush, Coloma had been a remote outpost, but because of the Gold Rush, Coloma’ s population soon expanded to many thousands of people. With the Gold Rush, Coloma developed a large population of foreign people.
By Nimi and Regina


A man named Jerry Crane was intent upon being the first to be hanged in Coloma. He murdered a student in his class because Crane said he “loved” her. With the smallest bit of investigating it was revealed that he had a family of his own in the Eastern part of the United States. Crane was arrested in his home, which was located in Ringgold, California, because of the murder. After that he was relocated in the Coloma jail. On the hanging at his execution, he sang verses he had composed to a tune of the day.

By Nimi and Regina  




The second person to be hanged in Coloma was Mickey Free. Free was involved in a cutthroat gang; they were known for capturing and robbing Chinese camps and killing lonely miners. He is who was responsible for the murdering of a roadhouse owner. He later made his confession named “Life of Mickey Free.” It was published by the local ECA paper (Empire Country Argus.) When it was his turn to be hanged, sharing Jerry Crane’s execution, Free tilted his hat over, covering his eye, and threw peanuts into his mouth. His turn came, and he tried to sing, but he broke into tears completely.

By Nimi and Regina

A man named Pearley Monroe use to own most of Coloma including the Coloma Pioneer Cemetery. After his death he was second to last to be buried with the rest of his family at the Coloma Pioneer Cemetery.
Coloma’s Pioneer Cemetery has been open since 1850. It has been called various names: Sutter Mill, Coloma Protestant and Vineyard. It began as the Sutter’s Mill Cemetery in 1848, but the earliest marked graves start in 1849. Robert Chalmers, who was British civil servant, a Buddhist scholar, and Pali, was the earliest known owner of the land where the cemetery is located. The land passed through many people until it was given to the California Department of Parks and Recreation in 1981. It is now a part of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. The cemetery is small and private but more than 600 pioneers are buried there. The graves contain people from all races and many nations who came to Coloma searching for gold. A very famous burial at the Coloma Pioneer Cemetery is James Marshall’s. He is buried under his 41 foot tall monument. 
By Lia and Jamie


Coloma experienced many changes. Lots of them were inevitable. For example, when the Gold Rush happened, the quickly rising population couldn’t be controlled. With the start of the Gold Rush came the gold mining technique called hydraulic mining. Hydraulic mining was banned in 1884 but not before it created damage to the environment that can be seen well over a century later. The American River was moved to a place where the miners wanted it. Trees were cut down, Indians were forced out of their habitat, and animals were being killed left and right because of the polluted rivers. These events were examples of change being inevitable.

By Lia and Regina

By Lia, Regina, Nimi, and Jamie