Since the Gold Rush helped hasten the admission of California to the union, it’s fitting that two Mother Lode communities will help celebrate the milestone, with events in Columbia and Angels Camp.
The Sept. 9, 1850, annexation of the state will be feted in a big way Saturday with a daylong event in Columbia State Historic Park that will begin with a flag raising and rifle salute by The Columbia Militia at 10:45 a.m.
A parade down Main Street will begin at 11 a.m., followed by a day of displays of vintage engines from the Columbia Fire Department, 1850s fashions at Eagle Cottage by Columbia park docents, town tours, cemetery tours, costumed characters, exhibits and live music by David Rainwater.
A hamburger and hot dog barbecue also will be offered, beginning at noon. The day’s events are presented by the Native Sons of the Golden West, Columbia Parlor 58.
Monday, the Angels Camp Museum will offer Celebrate Statehood Day from 1 to 3 p.m. with a workshop for children and adults on “California History Through its Flags.” The event is presented by Jim Miller, who will speak and show flag replicas to add “substance to these stories and contribute to the appreciation of our state’s history,” according to a museum news release.
“California has never been a stranger to strife or conflict, and historically, some of those moments have brought about profound change,” the release states. “These historical incidents are often recognized by the flags created before, during or after the events.”
After the talk, people will be invited to craft a small version of the original California Bear Flag. Cost for the event is $10. Angels Camp Museum is at 753 S. Main St. in the town off Highway 49. For more information, call (209) 736-2963.
California became the 31st state by the Compromise of 1850. According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation website, in February 1848, Mexico and the United States signed a treaty that ended the Mexican War and yielded a vast portion of the Southwest, including present-day California, to the union.
The Gold Rush, which began just days before the treaty, hastened California’s bid to join the states.