(Three panels are located at this information kiosk:) Imagine carrying just a backpack and a pick and hearing the shouts of "Gold!" as the rang through this valley.
It's 1851. You've traveled hundreds of miles to make you fortune in California - but you've hear the rumor of gold in Oregon, so you turn north to the Rogue Valley.
Joining several other miners, you slog through the mud to Coyote Creek, find a promising spot, stick your claim marker in the ground, and get to work. If the stake is good, you'll build a shelter and settle in, but you'll only stay as the gold lasts.
To keep body and soul together, you walk hard miles to Grave Creek and spend precious gold on provisions. Your friendships are quick and slapdash: if your gold dries up, you'll be gone.
The Ruble Vision
You know there's gold, right under your feet. But without a more powerful way to extract it your dream will die.
Seventeen years after the gold rush began, miners were using creek water under high pressure to process soil and extract gold, a method called hydraulic mining. New arrival William Ruble was struck by how efficient the process was. He bought up several claims, sent for his sons, and started to work.
But the Rubles couldn't
move soil fast enough to make a profit, and when creek water levels dropped in summer, they couldn't work at all. Rather than giving up and moving on, the Ruble sons invented a solution: the Ruble rock elevator.
A Golden Community
Listen carefully. Can you hear the voices of the past?
Mothers, fathers, and children walked up the church steps together many times each year, gathering for worship and encouragement in good times and bad.
In the late 19th century, rough-and-ready boom towns spring up wherever their was gold, and just as quickly faded away. Golden was different. With the Ruble elevator bringing in a constant profit, the 1890s found Golden growing into a thriving, family-centered community of more than 100 people.