Oak of the Golden Dream - First Discovery of Gold in California
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Lord Elwood
N 34° 22.697 W 118° 28.072
11S E 365044 N 3805076
Quick Description: Wouldn't you just love to wake up from a nap and discover gold? Jose Francisco De Gracia Lopez did just that here!
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 10/17/2007 5:35:36 AM
Waymark Code: WM2DPR
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 105

Long Description:
It is purported that Jose Francisco De Gracia Lopez fell asleep under an oak in Canon de los Encinos (Live Oak Canyon) and dreamt of gold. When he awoke, he was hungry and dug up some wild onions at the base of a nearby tree with his pocket knife. Clinging to the roots of the onions were nuggets of gold. Lopez and his associates scoured the nearby riverbanks and discovered more pockets of gold. They took their findings to nearby Los Angeles and relayed word of their discovery to their native Mexico City. The gold was assayed by the Philadelphia Mint and found to be .926 fine. Hundreds of prospectors from Los Angeles and Sonora, Mexico flocked to Live Oak Canyon, which was renamed Placerita Canyon. The word "placer" is of Spanish origin and means surface deposits of sand or gravel containing gold. From 1842 to 1847, the miners culled some 1,300 pounds of gold from Placerita. This is the first recorded authenticated find of gold in the area and that which is believed to have kicked off the monumental California Gold Rush in 1842. Additionally, Lopez’s was the first attempt at establishing a mining claim. Historians disagree on whether significant gold finds preceded that of Lopez, but his is surely the most legendary.

The oak tree beneath which Lopez took his fateful nap is now a California Historical Landmark, the Oak of the Golden Dream, and is located within the boundaries of the Placerita Canyon Park. It is the featured site of this earthcache and is a short, pleasant walk down the paved Heritage Trail.
FIRST - Classification Variable: Item or Event

Date of FIRST: 03/09/1842

More Information - Web URL: [Web Link]

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