To most students of California History, the California Gold Rush was launched by James Marshall in the winter of 1848 when he spotted gold flecks in a run at Sutter’s Mill. But a similarly important find happened in October of 1850, when George McKnight discovered gold-bearing quartz near the community of Boston Ravine, now part of Grass Valley.
To see where all the excitement began, visit the corner of Jenkins Street and Hocking Avenue in Grass Valley. There you’ll find a little-known monument to the discovery. Placed by the Native Sons and Native Daughters of the Golden West in 1929, California declared it a state landmark in 1939.