Tag Archives: Columbia

Gold Rush history lives on in ghost town gems along the Mother Lode, CA Hwy. 49

A replica of Sutter's Mill stands at the site of California's gold discovery in January, 1848.

Discovering ghost town gems along the Gold Rush Highway, CA Hwy. 49 Recent rains have cast our Sierra foothills in a verdant shade of green, perfect for exploring our state’s gold rush legacy. I always suggest starting in the place of gold’s discovery, just 80 miles northeast of Stockton, at the tiny town of Coloma [...]

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Murphys, Ironstone Vineyards and Columbia…footprints in history

Murphys Hotel, in operation since 1856, anchors historic Main Street in Murphys.

Our daytrip was to feature a tour of the historic town and famous wine-making region, in and around the town of Murphys, California. With leaves in the foothills starting to change to their autumn colors, the one hour drive provided marvelous scenery. One of our party suggested starting with a tour of Ironstone Vineyards. We [...]

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Sierra foothills cruisin’; late summer/early fall foothills destinations in Gold Country

The Wells Fargo stagecoach takes kids and families right through the heart of old Columbia!

With kids back in school and the summer crush of tourists waning, it’s time for a weekend getaway in the nearby Sierra foothills.  Highway 49 is just an hour away, so take a day or weekend tour of Gold Country and sample history, quaint towns and scenic attractions along the route! Start your tour at [...]

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Sierra snows; skiing, boarding, XC, snowshoeing or sledding, just two hours from Stockton!

A family of five enjoys the snow and the Sierra scenery in the Boulder Creek Canyon area of Dodge Ridge Ski Area.

  For Christmas, perhaps you received new skis or a snowboard, snowshoes or cross-country skis and want to try them out. Or, now that the holidays are past, you finally have time to get up to the Sierra snow country. From Stockton, the two “closest snows to home” are Dodge Ridge Ski Resort 30 miles [...]

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Sonora, Gold Rush cross-roads; Columbia and Tuolumne City are near!

Wells Fargo stagecoach rumbles into Columbia, offering rides to visitors to Columbia State Historic Park.

  Wells Fargo stagecoach rumbles into Columbia, offering rides to visitors to Columbia State Historic Park. On Wednesday, we shared a feature on Sonora, its Gold Rush and lumbering history (http://blogs.esanjoaquin.com/valleytravel/2014/10/08/sonora-visitor-friendly-cross-roads-of-gold-rush-and-lumbering-history/) and mentioned nearby attractions.  Here is a bit more insight on two, both within about six miles of Sonora: Columbia (just four miles north), took root [...]

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Sonora, visitor-friendly cross-roads of Gold Rush and lumbering history!

The stately Curtin Mansion, built in 1897, was home for Senator J.B. Curtin, attorney and candidate for CA Governor in 1914.

      The Sugg-McDonald House dates to the mid-1850s, built on the property of a former slave; it is in process of being renovated.  The old City Hotel, opened in 1852, anchors the historic downtown Sonora business district. Sugar Pine Railroad Engine #3 worked the Sierra for many years, bringing logs out of the mountains to [...]

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Head for the High Sierra in next few weeks; weather is perfect for touring!

The Wells Fargo Stagecoach offers rides through Columbia State Historic Park!

Kids, including author’s grandson Hunter, curly hair, can pan for gold and agates at Columbia State Historic Park! The Wells Fargo Stagecoach offers rides through Columbia State Historic Park! A couple of reasons to head for the High Sierra in the near future: For a great excuse to visit Calaveras Big Trees State Park (up [...]

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California Gold Rush trail, south to Columbia, Sonora and Tuolumne City (Part III in a series)

The Wells Fargo stagecoach is ready to give kids and families a ride in Columbia State Historic Park!

  Columbia’s old firehouse was made to both withstand fire (with tin sheathing to withstand flames) and to fight fires that often ravaged Gold Rush cities. Columbia’s main street is closed to vehicle traffic; you’ll find docents ready to share what the city was like in 1855. The eves of an old Westside Lumber building [...]

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Parrotts Ferry Bridge…a sagging story to tell!

Parrotts Ferry Bridge; look closely and you will see the center arch's sag (as well as the very low water in New Melones Lake).

Parrotts Ferry Bridge; look closely and you will see the center arch’s sag (as well as the very low water in New Melones Lake). Gold Rush explorers taking Hwy E-18 between Vallecito and Columbia in the central Sierra foothills get both a scenic drive, and cross the interesting Parrotts Ferry Bridge, arching (and sagging) high over New [...]

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    Tim Viall

    Viall is a local travel writer who retired in 2012 after 10 years as executive director of Stockton, CA's, Emergency Food Bank and six years with the Downtown Stockton Alliance. Previously, a 21-year career in daily newspapers helped shape his ... Read Full
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