Wonder if they make a cake big enough to hold 160 candles? That's the birthday the Gold Country town of Columbia (now Columbia State Historic Park) will celebrate on March 27, and you can join in the fun. Spring is the best time to visit, when flowers are popping up and daytime temps are cool and comfortable in the Sierra foothills.
The town of Columbia became instantly famous when a party of men uncovered a rich gold deposit in 1850, forever altering the land as thousands of people poured in to “strike it rich”. Initially a tent camp, then a sprawl of wooden buildings, Columbia was swept by fire and nearly wiped off the map. Handsome brick buildings arose from the ashes, and today, over 30 of the original brick buildings along the town’s Main Street have been preserved to tell the story of the towns which arose during the California Gold Rush to serve the needs of miners. California State Parks has restored Columbia and continues to preserve the town.
The birthday event is made for families, history buffs and home schoolers (its a self-teaching history lesson), with live reenactments of the discovery of gold, costumed docents in venues throughout town, and special tours highlighting the town’s beginning. Its many historic-style stores and restaurants are run by over 20 concessionaires whose businesses, along with park staff and volunteers, help recreate the experience of the California Gold Rush.
Details: Saturday, March 27 (12 – 4 pm), refreshments will be served. Columbia State Historic Park is located in Tuolumne County and is designated as a National Historic Landmark District. The event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park; the group helps raise funds to support the educational and interpretive programs at Columbia State Historic Park.