Grizzly Entertainment & California Bear Extinction

The largest and most powerful of bears, the California grizzly, thrived in New Spain when European explorers first set eyes on the land.  At their peak, approximately 10,000 grizzlies lived in California making the population one of the densest in the Pacific Northwest. “The grizzlies are the commonest kind of bear found in California, and are very large animals, weighing sometimes … Read More

Mining Pollution Legacy and Clean-Up

In the mid-1850’s hydraulic mining filled the stream channels and muddied the waters all the way down to the Pacific Ocean. Mercury was used in sluice boxes to amalgamate gold. “It is estimated that ten million pounds of mercury were lost into the streams,” comments Kyle Leach, Geologist for Sierra Streams Institute. “The tale of the Gold Rush is a greedy tale,” says … Read More

Exclusionist State Governor

Peter Hardeman Burnett: California’s First Governor Before securing his position as California’s first Governor (1849 – 1851), Burnett moved his family from Missouri to Oregon on a wagon train. “As a legislator in Oregon, Burnett proposed that all free blacks be forced to leave the state. Any who failed to leave were to be arrested and flogged every six months … Read More

Name History: Oustomah, Deer Creek Dry Diggings & Nevada City

Before the Gold Rush: The Nisenan people called the Nevada City area Oustomah. At one time, it was home to approximately 2,000 Indians. It was part of a network of villages along Deer Creek. August 1849: According to, California Place Name, Deer Creek was named by Isaac Wistar and Mr. Hunt after leaving a freshly-killed deer. Hostile Indians scared them away. “Next day … Read More

Steven Langley II, Voice Actor for Alfred T. Jackson, Gold Miner

Steven Langley II of Grass Valley performs the voice of Alfred Jackson in the Deer Creek documentary. Jackson is the character-narrator of the book, The Diary of a Forty-Niner, “I believe that if it were not for the potatoes, that are fairly plenty, and the fact that the woods are full of game, we would all die of scurvy,” says Alfred. Steven Langley … Read More