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For Immediate Release: 5/22/2015

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California Gold Rush History Comes to Life


Amber Cantisano





COLUMBIA, Calif. - Columbia State Historic Park will present “Diggins Tent Town 1852”, its annual living history event May 28 through May 31, 2015.

The event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia and Columbia State Historic Park and depicted by over 150 costumed volunteers. Visitors can experience the events and environment of an 1850’s mining camp that is re-created in detail from the clothing, food and entertainment to the powerful stories of the early miners as they struggled to “strike it rich.”

“This is a true living history experience where you can actually step back in time and experience the California Gold Rush as the people might have in the 1850s. It is an event that everyone should see.” says California State Park District Interpretive Specialist Amber Cantisano.

Meet the merchants, artisans and entertainers who have come to the Diggins to “mine the miners’ pockets.” Interact and observe the lifestyles of the early miners as they prepare their meals, launder their clothing and care for gardens and livestock. Learn about their crafts, how their children played, their music and other forms of entertainment – including gambling! A variety of foods, drinks and other items are available for purchase inside the event.

Just outside the event on Saturday and Sunday, children can explore games and crafts typical of the Gold Rush era. Make a scented sachet, a pinecone birdfeeder, button spinner and more! All activities are suitable for a variety of ages. There is no admission fee to the crafts area.

The non-profit organization Friends of Columbia State Historic Park will staff an information booth to highlight their membership, upcoming events and how to get involved in a variety of ways in Columbia on Saturday and Sunday.

Open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. daily, admission to Columbia “Diggins 1852” is $5.00 per adult and $1.00 per child age 12 and under. There is no charge for parking and admission to the park. For more information contact Columbia Visitor Services at or call (209) 588-9128.


Additional photos available upon request.


Columbia State Historic Park, located in Tuolumne County, California, is designated as a National Historic Landmark District and has 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 and continues to preserve over 30 of the original brick buildings along the town’s Main Street.

Columbia State Historic Park annually hosts over 400,000 visitors and is a major tourist destination in Tuolumne County. 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 for visitors from around the world. 

For more than two years, California has been dealing with the effects of drought. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.Gov.

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at


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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.