Columbia State Historic Park, Columbia California

Gold discovered in Columbia in 1850

Discovery of gold by the Hildreth party in 1850 put Columbia on the map during the California gold rush. It also placed our once-booming mining town in the pages of California history forever.

Columbia State Historic Park contains the largest single collection of existing gold rush era structures. These brick buildings – many over 150 years old – recall the town’s heyday when rowdy miners wandered along busy, dusty streets.

After all, Columbia is the story of its people, an early gathering of gold seekers from all over the globe, who sought to get rich quick. Their stories and contributions are what the State and Friends of Columbia hope to preserve.

We invite you, your family and friends to get a glimpse into Columbia’s pioneer days by attending Friends of Columbia SHP many interpretive programs (reenactments) presented by docent volunteers. Simply click on Events to view what’s happening during the year throughout the park and book the events.  Teachers can also register and pay for educational programs on the Schools page.

Gold Rush Days

2nd Saturday every month  1 – 4 pm

Reserve the 2nd Saturday for Gold Rush Days at Columbia State Historic Park. You’ll get to see inside special exhibits, stores and residences not regularly open to the public. Columbia’s Gold Rush Days is a chance to explore the historic town of Columbia and see it come alive with living history. Throughout town you will discover park docents interpreting what it looked, felt, and sounded like during the California Gold Rush.

Docents in period attire will provide lots of information on the structure of their featured building, nature of its business and equipment, contents of store merchandise, or interior décor of family homes, along with history of the times for visitors. If you’re lucky, the gambling table will be set up on the boardwalk for everyone to try their hand at betting against a mining camp gambler.