Calico Palace Author:Gwen Bristow Calico Palace is a story of men and women who lived in California at the time of the gold rush. But they were not the forty-niners. They were the people who were there when it all began. They were the fouty-eighters. — The gold of California was discovered in the early part of 1848; it took nearly a year for the news to reach the states on the... more » Atlantic side of the continent. But the forty-eighters were in California already. They heard--and doubted--the first rumors of gold that drifted into the village of San Francisco (population 900 persons). When they could no longer doubt the rumors, they went up to the hills and came back staggering under the weight of the treasure they carried. They began the transformation of San Francisco from a frontier shanty-town into one of the most brilliant cities in the world. They created the legends of the golden days.
The forty-eighters had not come to California looking for gold. Whey, then, were they there? Why had they left their own civilized communities to make a dangerous journey five or six months long, with nothing at the end of it but a mud-caked settlement out at the end of the world?
Every one of them had a different reason. Often they were reasons they did not talk about.« less