Saturday, January 25, 2014

Folsom Lake: Gold Rush History

     Richard Preston said, “The actual town itself is close to 90 feet underwater.” According to data from the California Department of Water Resources, currently, the water level at Folsom Lake is lower than during the winter season of 1976-77, one of worst drought years in history. Experts say what is exposed now would have been on the outskirts of the once-booming community, founded by Mormon prospectors who made their way to California for the Mexican War. The water’s retreat has exposed at least two rock-lined foundations, a score of rusty nails, piles of old glass and perhaps more as the water continues to decline.

     “I found a doorknob,” one boy called out from a distance. As people come to visit, so far, people have found rock-lined foundations, old glass, a doorknob and rusty nails. (If you all didn't know, it used to be a town called “Mormon Island.” However, the town was flooded after Folsom Dam was built in 1955.) More items were expected to be exposed as the water continues receding. However, they are not allowed to take the artifacts; it is illegal.

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