Found first CA gold?
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Thread: Found first CA gold?

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  1. #1
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
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    Found first CA gold?

    Fd. this several years ago, in a scrapbook at the Oregon Historical Society:

    From Oregon Historical Society Scrapbook #85, p. 149, hand dated 1906

    "DISCOVERED GOLD IN CALIFORNIA
    Mrs. Marion Hibber Was Original Locator of Rich Deposits of Southern Coast.
    DIES AT DAUGHTER’S HOME IN BAKER CITY
    When Girl of Fourteen in Forty-Five She Found Yellow Flakes on Banks of Bear Creek but Kept Secret From Mexicans.

    (Special Dispatch to The Journal.)
    Baker City, Nov. 10. - Mrs. Marion Hibber, one of the earliest pioneers of Baker county, passed away in this city Thursday, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. C. H. Ames, 1845 Cherry street.
    Mrs. Hibber was the original discoverer of gold in California, though her name was unwritten in history, and her claim was unknown except to her own family. In 1845, a girl of 14, she was playing along the banks of Bear creek, near Donner lake in the Sierra Madre range of that state, when she found, what in telling of it a short time before her death she described as shining particles of coarse bran. This was the first known discovery of gold in California. Three years later Marshall, the man accredited with making the discovery on the banks of Sutton creek, in February, found the first gold in California, of which history tells.
    In 1845 Mrs. Hibber, with her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Trueman Bonney, came across the plains in a covered wagon from Canton, Illinois, where she spent her early life. It was at the time when the state was in a turmoil from the Mexican war, and they were forced to stop at Sutter’s Fort, which was then under General Fremont. At Sutter’s Fort the little girl found gold. Parties suggested that some of the gold be assayed, and Dr. Gildea, a member of the party in the fort, started with some of it to Monterey to have it assayed. On the way he died of mountain fever, and its value was never known.

    Find Kept Secret
    Meanwhile General Fremont who knew of the discovery, charged the Bonneys not to let it become known, since if Mexico knew of the gold deposits or believed them to exist it would only make the Americanization of California more difficult. The matter was dropped and the discovery was almost forgotten.
    Dr. Bonney and his wife tired of life at the fort and wanted to live without danger from the Mexicans. They loaded their possessions on burros and packed up into Oregon, settling in Marion county.
    In 1849 there came the news of the discovery of gold in California, and remembering his daughter’s discovery, Dr. Bonney and George F. Hibbler, to whom Marion Bonney had been married at Woodbine in 1847, and Mrs. Hibbler’s brother, Bradford Bonney, went back to California, to the place on Bear Creek, where they operated a placer mine until 1852, taking out thousands of dollars. Then they returned to Oregon, where Mr. Hibbler opened a stock ranch in Yamhill County, where for years he resided. He died in 1872, leaving his wife and 10 children. Since her husband’s death Mrs. Hibbler has been making her home with her children, and of late years has lived here with her daughter, Mrs. C.H. Ames."

    Historically, gold was first discovered at Sutter's Fort in 1848, (not 1849 as many assert). In 1848 news of the strike was brought to Oregon by no other than Captain James Scarborough. He shrewdly had purchased all newspapers issues he could find of the strike while in San Francisco, then sailed immediately north. In Oregon, he rapidly sold all of the copies of the newspapers he had for $1 each, a considerable increase from the purchase price of 10 cents.

    But Scarborough didn't stop there. He immediately bought up every piece of farming tool which had a handle: shovel, pick, fork, axe, hatchet, etc. He paid an astounding 50cents each of these items, in some cases. He also was the first person to navigate the Willamette River from Portland to Oregon City, by having 2 Native Americans take soundings in the river ahead of him. Until that time, it was not known how deep the Willamette River was. In Oregon City, the provincial capital of Oregon, Scarborough did the same thing: sold limited numbers of S.F. newspapers, bought up everything with a handle. But at Oregon City he went one step further by buying all lumber, finishes or unfinished, which he could fit on his ship. He immediately returned to S.F. and proceeded to do the same thing several more times, next buying foodstuffs, grain, and everday comestibles. By 1850 Scarborough had made enough to retire, but still continued to guide ships over the treacherous Columbia River Bar. He was the third officially-sanctioned bar captain to do so, after Chief Comcomly. (Comcomly was either Scarborough's father-in-law or grandfather-in-law, and Comcomly's son; both of whom died of marlaria in 1831 within a week of each other).

  2. #2

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Re: Found first CA gold?

    thanx for posting. Yeah, there's always historically someone who will say someone else beat someone to a discovery, or someone else should get credit. Like in every scientific invention, kernals of ideas get cross-polinated, but only the guy who patents it, gets the credit years later. So ........ heck, I bet if someone researches it enough, they can find citations to someone who beat the little girl to the draw. And then if you study THAT enough, you can probably find some else who beat THAT person. And so on and so on, back to infitum. Afterall, people were exploring the foothills, and cross-sierra routes, way back into ....... what, the 1830s and earlier 1840s? Granted, the interior valley was still isolated, but there was, afterall, a travel route from So. CA that came up through the central valley even in the 1820s. Sure it hugged the western side of the valley, but who's to say they didn't meander exploring the inner valley and eastern slopes? Mexico, afterall, gave land grants of that interior land, afterall. Sutters Ft (New Helvatia or whatever) was just one such of several interior valley land grants. If you looked hard enough, I'm sure you'll find lots of rumors of people who saw gold before the "official" spotting.
    darthoblio likes this.

  3. #3
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
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    Re: Found first CA gold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA
    thanx for posting. Yeah, there's always historically someone who will say someone else beat someone to a discovery, or someone else should get credit. Like in every scientific invention, kernals of ideas get cross-polinated, but only the guy who patents it, gets the credit years later. So ........ heck, I bet if someone researches it enough, they can find citations to someone who beat the little girl to the draw. And then if you study THAT enough, you can probably find some else who beat THAT person. And so on and so on, back to infitum. Afterall, people were exploring the foothills, and cross-sierra routes, way back into ....... what, the 1830s and earlier 1840s? Granted, the interior valley was still isolated, but there was, afterall, a travel route from So. CA that came up through the central valley even in the 1820s. Sure it hugged the western side of the valley, but who's to say they didn't meander exploring the inner valley and eastern slopes? Mexico, afterall, gave land grants of that interior land, afterall. Sutters Ft (New Helvatia or whatever) was just one such of several interior valley land grants. If you looked hard enough, I'm sure you'll find lots of rumors of people who saw gold before the "official" spotting.
    You start your post with "Yeah, there's always historically someone who will say someone else beat someone to a discovery..."

    Do you have a reference? All I see is opinion. Opinion lacks merit without citation.

  4. #4

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Re: Found first CA gold?

    Sorry, do you mean to ask if I have reference to THIS particular questions "who was first"? As in: Do I have reference to a proof of someone who beat this girl to the draw, in the discovery of gold in CA? No, I do not. Nor did I say I did.

    I was pointing out that in practically any field of discovery (whether geographic, scientific, etc...) there seems to be a lot of this that goes on. That's all I was pointing out. You know the drill, like the various computer components where companies/people cross-sue each other, claiming they were first, or their idea was the nascent kernal that was actually the "discovery", thus the earlier to the draw, etc.... Or anytime someone has an earlier discoverer than Columbus, to the Americas, someone else comes along and has an earlier one (by whatever proof they find proof-ful enough, ..... heck, going back to the Romans, and they'll cite some sort of writing on rocks found in Mississippi, or whatever).

    Wasn't saying it wasn't true that she was the first, or that I proof of an earlier gold discovery. Just saying that such claims are prevalent, as it's human nature to find "discovery" fascinating, and to find claims counter to accepted truths.

    Also it is an interesting story.

  5. #5
    us
    Feb 2009
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    Re: Found first CA gold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuberale
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA
    thanx for posting. Yeah, there's always historically someone who will say someone else beat someone to a discovery, or someone else should get credit. Like in every scientific invention, kernals of ideas get cross-polinated, but only the guy who patents it, gets the credit years later. So ........ heck, I bet if someone researches it enough, they can find citations to someone who beat the little girl to the draw. And then if you study THAT enough, you can probably find some else who beat THAT person. And so on and so on, back to infitum. Afterall, people were exploring the foothills, and cross-sierra routes, way back into ....... what, the 1830s and earlier 1840s? Granted, the interior valley was still isolated, but there was, afterall, a travel route from So. CA that came up through the central valley even in the 1820s. Sure it hugged the western side of the valley, but who's to say they didn't meander exploring the inner valley and eastern slopes? Mexico, afterall, gave land grants of that interior land, afterall. Sutters Ft (New Helvatia or whatever) was just one such of several interior valley land grants. If you looked hard enough, I'm sure you'll find lots of rumors of people who saw gold before the "official" spotting.
    You start your post with "Yeah, there's always historically someone who will say someone else beat someone to a discovery..."

    Do you have a reference? All I see is opinion. Opinion lacks merit without citation.
    Tuberale,.....If you are going to try and do REAL research then YOU have to be better with your own citations.
    Usually, people provide a link to the proof that they referenced then others do the same in an effort to either confirm or disprove it.

    Like this:

    http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory...oinage1005.htm

    Written by someone who probably has a lot more credibility than YOU!

    Show me your disproof of this article. Then we will go from there!
    “Be Who You Are and Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don't Matter and Those Who Matter Don't Mind.”
    Dr. Seuss Fly EagleDown Fly......

  6. #6
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
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    Re: Found first CA gold?

    You haven't done any research at the Oregon Historical Society. I'll wait until you have some actual experience before commenting further.

    BTW, interesting article. Too bad it hasn't been better publicized. Doesn't your article also *prove* gold was discovered in California before 1848?

  7. #7
    us
    Feb 2009
    Treasure Valley Id
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    Re: Found first CA gold?

    YOU are the one who needs to do better research!

    This is but one of many articles on this FACT! I merely posted it to show that YOUR research needs to be better before you post of any kind! You also need to link to your citation so that others can google and come up with substantiating similar results.

    With out somebody agreeing with you and showing their research, it is just hot air. I am not perfect or a research expert but I dig deeper.
    I do not let a single statement stand on it's own. I always need additional collaboration before I tend to believe anything as FACT!

    Just like your "Lost and Found" postings of old treasure stories copied out of out-dated magazines. Many that were written(as fiction) just to sell more copies and enriches a publisher who might have never done any treasure hunting of his own but wants to cash in on those who are gullible.

    SO, Tuberale, can you cite anything else that we might try to confirm or debunk? Inquiring minds want to know!
    “Be Who You Are and Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don't Matter and Those Who Matter Don't Mind.”
    Dr. Seuss Fly EagleDown Fly......

  8. #8
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
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    Re: Found first CA gold?

    Apparently you believe that the Oregon Historical Society's 350 scrapbooks of newspaper clippings are available on-line. They aren't. To find my article it is necessary to go to the historical society and physically view it.

    I don't know why that offends you. I've researched at several private museums. None are available on-line. To see their material you actually have to go there and read it.

  9. #9

    Nov 2007
    ,M.X.T.& Tesoro Tejon
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    Re: Found first CA gold?

    It is common knowledge that gold was found here prior to the initial "find"
    M.X.T , Tesoro Tejon





  10. #10

    Feb 2013
    75
    25 times
    There is a lot of quarts in that canyon

  11. #11

    Apr 2013
    3
    I live here- as in 3 miles from Sutters Mill in Coloma, CA. There are many discrepancies in the OP. Sutters Fort is 40 miles West from the Mill. OP also describes Bear Creek near Donner where the flakes were discovered. That's 60 miles North. Now maybe there were some transcribing errors but believe me when I tell you this area has been picked through for the last 150 years. At the time of the original find, lore has it that there were good sized nuggets just laying on the river banks. The Indians found the gold first folks many many years before the settlers. There are hundreds of mines, some still operating in the area. You can still pan for gold and while I paddle a kayak on the South Fork American river, there are folks out there dredging although I think the state has now put the kibosh on that.

    Our latest rush was of the meteorite type as one exploded in the skies almost exactly one year ago and people were finding fragments all around the original Sutters Mill area. Many of us locals had to put up private property-keep out signs as the meteorite hunters were out in full force. People were finding chunks of it laying on the grass in the park. I think one end up being worth close to $60k as the meteorite was quite old at +4 billion years.

  12. #12
    Charter Member

    Mar 2003
    So. Cal.
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    OK, whose got the bigger pair?
    It's supposed to be a fun place guys. Don't go getten all puffed up now.
    I enjoyed just reading the first post for the info it provided without any
    more he said she said they said.

 

 

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