On this date in 1848, James W. Marshall -- constructing a mill on property belonging to Johann A. Sutter near Coloma, California -- discovered gold.
My, how things changed.
Some of his nibs forebears came out here to set up shop in San Francisco, selling picks and shovels and pans to folks heading up to the hills to search for gold. Made a pretty penny in the hardware business, they did.
They were johnny-come-lately, but their offspring married into a family whose forebears arrived in 1776.