9 04, 2020

The Story of Willie Renssiem Part Two


Campfire Gold Rush Recollections By 49er Bill Meissner “The Story of Willie” Part Two   In the Spring of ’51, I arrived in the California Gold Rush town of Columbia, or American Camp as it was called then.  As the camp grew its name kept changing.  Originally it was called Hildreth’s Diggings after the miner who discovered its gold deposits, with rapid growth, it was renamed American Camp.  Then because of its rich gold deposits, it was referred to as the [...]

The Story of Willie Renssiem Part Two2020-04-09T01:30:02-07:00
31 03, 2020

The Story of Willie Renssiem Part One


Campfire Gold Rush Recollections By 49er Bill Meissner The following are gold rush recollections of a legendary prospector known as Willie Renssiem as recounted at nightly campfires by Bill Meissner.  Bill Meissner along with his wife Pat have owned and operated the 49er RV Ranch in the heart of Gold Country Columbia, California since 1980. The 49er RV Ranch is located ½ mile from Downtown Historic Columbia California, 15-minutes from Sonora and Jamestown which is popular for Railtown, which boasts the [...]

The Story of Willie Renssiem Part One2020-03-31T03:04:06-07:00
29 01, 2013

8 Interesting Gold Rush Facts


8 Interesting Gold Rush Facts The Gold Rush began after James Wilson Marshall, a carpenter and sawmill operator, found gold in the American River of California in 1848. Sadly, Marshall never made a profit from his discovery, and as a result of his breakthrough, the sawmill eventually closed after all of the workers spent their time searching for gold. Although Gold Rushers were predominantly Americans, gold seekers also traveled from Latin America, Europe, China and Australia.  Word travels fast, even in [...]

8 Interesting Gold Rush Facts2015-03-21T01:36:10-07:00
24 01, 2013

A Fun Filled Day at Calaveras Big Tree State Park


A Fun Filled Day at Calaveras Big Tree State Park Visitors of 49er RV Ranch will have plenty to do while onsite, but for those who wish to venture off, one place to see for sure is Calaveras Big Tree State Park, which is roughly 28.5 miles away. Upon arrival to Calaveras Big Tree SP, you'll immediately notice what's so special about this place. The trees are relics of prehistoric times when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Many of the trees can [...]

A Fun Filled Day at Calaveras Big Tree State Park2015-03-21T01:36:56-07:00
9 01, 2013

The Oldest Campground In California


The Oldest Campground In California Established in 1865, 49er RV Ranch is renown today for being the oldest campground in the state of California.  Here is a fascinating legend of the man who created the establishment, resident ghost, Willie. Thanks to a surplus of gold miners, resident ghost Willie and some of his family members settled in as dairy farmers during the heart of the gold rush.  The dairy farm provided gold miners with milk, cheese and other needed dairy products.  [...]

The Oldest Campground In California2015-03-21T01:37:28-07:00
24 02, 2012

Living Gold Rush


Living Gold Rush Experience the Gold Rush with a visit to Columbia State Historic Park. This State Park is an unusual combination of a museum and a ‘LIVING’ 1850’s Gold Rush Town. Also visit a nearby ranch that began serving Columbia’s dairy needs in 1852. Today, this ranch provides an interesting collection of relics and memorabilia which include gold rush era buildings, ranch and mining tools, an unusual 22 million year old stone fence post and more. […]

Living Gold Rush2015-03-21T01:38:15-07:00
24 02, 2012

Fascinating History Of A Gold Rush Road


Fascinating History Of A Gold Rush Road An ancient Indian migration and trading powwow trail reveals fascinating history and surprising links to Italian Gold, German Beer, Kentucky Milk, and a major Indian Rebellion. This trail is located in California’s Mother Lode foothills between Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe and Sacramento. […]

Fascinating History Of A Gold Rush Road2015-03-21T01:38:44-07:00
24 02, 2012

A Columbia Legend Recalled


A Columbia Legend Recalled Gold rush letters and diaries foster fascinating legends, such as this legend of a 49er Argonaut known as Willie. 49ers were often referred to as Argonauts in reference to legendary Greek mythology of dangerous journeys. […]