Abner K. Vanderwalker – A.K.’s California Gold Rush Adventure

The discovery of gold in 1848 by James Marshall at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma resulted in an influx of about three hundred thousand eager young men into California seeking their fortune. Most went bust and returned home; a tiny few discovered their fortunes and became rich; and then there were those, like my great, great, great uncle Abner Vanderwalker, who were able to find a way to carve out a satisfactory life for themselves. At least for a while…

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John Congleton’s Saw Mill

Several years ago, during a visit to my hometown of Healdsburg, California in Sonoma County, a dear cousin of mine shared with me an old scrapbook she had come across while clearing out her recently departed Mother’s home. In it was a newspaper article, written in the 1930s, that relayed some stories about our shared ancestor, John E. Congleton, who had arrived in California during the Gold Rush.

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