California Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush started when James Wilson Marshall was building a water powered sawmill for John Sutter in 1848. When he finished building the sawmill, he went to the river to fetch some water. He saw some shiny little flakes of gold in the river. He immediately went to tell John, and they tried to keep it a secret. But word soon got out, and the gold rush started.
Some people became rich but most did not. Besides trying to find gold, some people started selling things. This gave them benefits and popularity. Sometimes a woman could earn more than her mining husband. Men like Levi Strauss also sold things. He invented and sold jeans made from denim. The California Gold Rush ended in 1855. At that time, many gold miners went back home because gold was harder to find.