Shortly after James W Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill, his Mormon laborers were re-called to the Great Salt Lake Valley, Utah. On April, 9, 1848, a plan was devised to cut a wagon trail through the uncharted Sierra Nevada frontier. The trail would become the present day Mormon Emigrant Trail. In June, the wagon train departed Pleasant Valley with 45 men, one woman and 17 wagons, several yoke of oxen and 300 head of cattle.
Their first camp site was made July 4, 1848 by Mormon scout, Jason Calvin Sly at today's Sly Park. From there the wagon road was cut inch by inch, through the austere Sierra mountain range. When completed the Mormons had built the first east-west wagon road into Northern California. Tens of thousands used this road during California's gold rush for commerce and stagecoach travel.
Historian: Anthony M. Belli