Gold Rush Stories: 49 Tales of Seekers, Scoundrels, Loss, and Luck

Thursday, June 1, 2017 6:00PM

<strong><em>Gold Rush Stories: 49 Tales of Seekers, Scoundrels, Loss, and Luck</strong></em>
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The Gods of Destruction: Fire and Flood during the California Gold Rush

The Gold Rush altered the course of world history and transformed the social and cultural landscapes of the American West. Hundreds of thousands of eager migrants rushed to California seeking instant wealth and memorable adventures. But the gold seekers often experienced unexpectedly hard work and disappointment, along with powerful forces of nature – fire and flood. Gold Rush California was frequently swept by massive conflagrations and some of the worst floods in our history. For example, during an 18-month period from 1849 to 1851, San Francisco suffered from seven enormous fires.

Historian Gary Noy will present an illustrated lecture on these “Gods of Destruction,” drawing upon material from his book Gold Rush Stories: 49 Tales of Seekers, Scoundrels, Loss and Luck. He will detail the impact and aftermath of many Gold Rush fires. He will also describe the mammoth floods from 1850 to 1862 and their continuing influence on today’s flood prevention measures.

Gold Rush Stories: 49 Tales of Seekers, Scoundrels, Loss and Luck will be available for sale and signing.

After the presentation, California Historical Society's reference librarians and archivists will provide a one hour open house in the North Baker Research Library and will show collections connected to the Gold Rush.

If you are a Heyday Subscriber please put in promo code Gold into the top right box titled Promo Code for free admission to this event!

About the Author

A Sierra Nevada native and current resident, Gary Noy taught history at Sierra College from 1987 until 2012. He founded the Sierra College Center for Sierra Nevada Studies and served as its director until his retirement. His previous titles include Sierra Stories: Tales of Dreamers, Schemers, Bigots, and Rogues (Heyday, 2014), which won the Gold Medal for Best Regional Nonfiction from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, The Illuminated Landscape: A Sierra Nevada Anthology (Heyday, 2010), which he coedited, and Distant Horizon: Documents from the 19th Century American West (University of Nebraska Press, 1999). Visit his website at