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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Gold Rush in California

Back in the days when I was a freelance travel writer, it was a standing joke in our family that I could always sell a story about Sacramento, California. There are plenty of fascinating places in the world, but editors (and readers) seemed only interested in that historic but unlikely capital of the goldrush state. So I explored the replica village, roamed thoughtfully about Sutter's Fort, took the mountain trail to Lake Tahoe, rode buses and boat, and wrote, and wrote. I accumulated so much goldrush knowledge that I ended up writing a novel, called Promise of Gold.

Now the real story of goldrush San Francisco is in print, authored by the eminent maritime historian James Delgado. The University of California Press has just released Gold Rush Port: The Maritime Archaeology of San Francisco’s Waterfront, which is as much a history of the port of San Francisco during the 1849 Gold Rush as it is a study of the challenges (both physical and bureaucratic) of maritime archaeology today on the San Francisco waterfront.

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