Gold fever heats up again in California's Mother Lode
Photo: Historical Gold Rush mine, National Archives, via Flickr
California has caught gold fever again.
Gold prices are at all-time highs. Signs of a new gold rush are popping up all along Highway 49 through the Mother Lode: grizzled prospectors panning in the creeks, new underground mines preparing to go into production, rampant mining-stock speculation, boosterish media coverage and even an old-fashioned salted-mine hoax.
The timing is perfect for a new gold rush, says Jack Mitchell, publisher of the weekly Ledger Dispatch in Amador County. The economy is "sucking wind" in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, he says, and "there is a strong belief that the real gold has not been found yet."
"Today's Gold Price" is posted daily behind the front desk at the historic Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley: "One Ounce - $1,593.00" the sign read when I checked in a couple of weeks ago.