Top Ten Things Not to Do During the 1849 California Gold Rush

Top Ten Things not to do

 

This edition continues the historical background on the Top Ten feature. I hope you like it.

10 If you are near the gold rush, do not sell everything to go mine gold. If you do, at best you will break even. At worst, you’ll find that you have blown your life savings chasing a dream. (Seems you could have found a better way to blow your money, Farquharson. You could try self-publishing.)

9 If you are near the gold rush, do not move that stake at the corner of Tiny the WWF champ’s claim. If you do, at best Tiny will let you put it back. At worst, Tiny figures you are jumping his claim. (No use even putting up a fight, Farrin. I would just lay there. Tiny is bound to lose interest sooner or later.)

8 If you are near the gold rush, do not hide your gold under the straw mattress on your cot. If you do, at best the lump will keep you awake. At worst, sadly that’s the first place a thief will look. (Well, now you need to start over, Farrs. With any luck, you get that gold dust back in another six months of panning.)

7 If you are near the gold rush, do not describe someone to his face as a sourdough. If you do, at best the person is too new to the file to know that a sourdough is someone from Canada who has come to California in search of Gold. At worst, the person might take exception to be labeled as a Canadian even if he is. (Might as well take it back, Farson. Looks like he is mighty angry.)

6 If you are near the gold rush, do not wear your 7 for All Mankind jeans to work. If you do, at best you will attract many stares. At worst, the Levi-Strauss salesperson might decide a gunfight is in order. (I guess you didn’t realize that Levi’s were the official jean of the gold rush huh, Favian. No worries, just buy a pair and all will be forgotten.)

5 If you are near the gold rush, do not announce any discoveries of gold. If you do, at best you’ll have more friends. At worst, the mob scene that will transpire is more than you can handle. (Your claim needs to be defended, Fedyenka. But do you really want to shoot someone?)

4 If you are near the gold rush, do not complain about the cost of food. If you do, at best you’ll be told to go elsewhere. At worst, the cook mayΒ decide that serving you requires more reimbursement and raises his prices again. (Funny, Felix but you are the only one paying more for everything.)

3 If you are near the gold rush, do not think you can set up a get rich quick wagon and tool rental business. If you do, at best all your tools will be rented out, and you’ll need to get more. At worst, none of the devices will be brought back, and the rentals do not cover the cost. (This was not how it was supposed to work, Fergus.)

2 If you are near the gold rush, do not drink whatever is in that bottle in the saloon. If you do, at best you won’t go blind. At worst, you might lose track of time and wake up three weeks from now broke and homeless. (Imagine if you’d had enough money to buy two bottles, Fiacre. You might not be with us right now.)

1 If you are near the gold rush, do not pan for gold. If you do, at best you won’t find any. At worst, you might pull a couple of specks out of the sand which will cause an extreme attack of gold fever. (Well that does it, Fidelis. You are hooked. See you in a couple of years when your money runs out.)

64 comments

  1. I’ve learned something today, John. I didn’t really know where the term “sourdough” originated. I’ve heard of the bread but didn’t know about the Canada part. Anyone jumping Tiny’s claim must be suffering from more than gold fever. πŸ˜€ — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha haha. I agree on the Tiny observation, Suzanne. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, gosh, dear John! This instruction is written as if you had been there. Great set with a true historical spirit!

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    1. Thank you, Maria. (research)

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  3. Can you spare a dollar for s 49er? Great post, John. I love β€œYou could try self-publishing” – it is less dangerous. Happy Labor Day.

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    1. Ha haha. Thanks, Dan. πŸ˜€

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  4. HOW do you come up with these things?!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Um….I ah……then I…….Now that uou mention it I have no idea. πŸ˜€

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      1. You are quite a character, John!! πŸ™‚

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      2. So have been told, GP. Thanks. πŸ™‚

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  5. Yeah, the straw mattress never works! Good one, John! Enjoy the holiday!

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    1. Thak you, Jill. πŸ˜€

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  6. I think the sourdough part was my favorite. Such an odd term and usage there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right. I looked it up before going that direction.

      Like

  7. Haha! Witty and full of sound advice. I pity the gold miners who headed off into the gold rush without your top 10.

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    1. Ha haha. Thank you, Rose.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. (Seems you could have found a better way to blow your money, Farquharson. You could try self-publishing.)

    Even Scooter had a good laugh over that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent, Greg. Made me laugh too.

      Like

  9. And don’t set up a tent under your ecology flag and start preaching about the environment either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. We 49ers don’t care about the ecology

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  10. Gwen Plano · ·

    Goodness, I didn’t know that Levi’s were the official jean of the gold rush. πŸ˜€ Enjoyed the list, John. Have a great Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have a great Monday as well, Gwen.

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  11. My great-great-grandfather left Iowa to pan for gold in Colorado. When the Civil War broke out, he came back to Iowa and helped establish the 34th Iowa. It may or may not be true that he claimed life in the army beat life on the claim. Great list.

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    1. The claim work was hard and very few made any money.

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  12. Loved these. Might add one more: Don’t be female.

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    1. ha haha. Good one, Noelle.

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  13. I’d be very leery about Tiny ever losing interest in his claim! And I had to laugh over #3 — always somebody trying to get-rich-quick, huh, John?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems that way, Debbie. πŸ˜€

      Like

  14. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    Comparing the goldrush to self publishing perfect! Lol. Living in the heart of goldrush country.your list made me want to break out that gold pan and head to the river…maybe this time it won’t be fools gold;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always wanted to do that myself. I lived in the town of Sonoma and thought I could just go near Sacremento and maybe catch a couple of nuggets. Dreams.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Sourdough? They called us Sourdoughs? What up wit dat??? Like it would be insulting to be called Canadian… hmmph!
    As for the jeans, c’mon peeps, no self-respecting wanna be gold-digger/cowboy/westerner would be found dead in anything BUT Levi’s…
    Thanks for the laugh, John πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for laughing, Dale. Maybe the sourdough thing come up from too many “sorrys.” Like in, “How’s the bread today?” “It’s sorry dough, eh? Sorry.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LMAO even harder now…
        You kill me…

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      2. (less)… somehow I do not feel any sincerity in that apology πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

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      3. Saw right through me. πŸ˜€

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      4. That I did… πŸ˜‰

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      5. * shiver I hope that intestine view wasn’t too graphic.

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  16. #9 for me! Tee Hee! Tiny no scare me! I from Mejico! β™₯

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  17. Oye! I no Teeny! I like heem vely much! β™₯

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  18. #2 had me belly laughing, John. Go blind. That was really funny. And, I did not know that a Sourdough was a Canadian. Another great Top Ten! Love the history themes you’re doing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you like them. The jury is still out but we will have some more.

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      1. Good news!

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  19. Oh, Lord, John! This one had me in stitches. The Levi one really got me. πŸ™‚ Way to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jan. I could just see a 49er with designer jeans. πŸ˜€

      Like

  20. John,
    God help the miner who jumps Tiny’s claim!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. God help everyone. Amen.

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  21. I read this to my 6 year old son (a few bits we got confused, like thinking Canadians were artesian bread) but he liked the panning of gold causing an extreme attack of gold fever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the Canadians were the original sourdoughs. He may try panning in the bathtub but let me warn you, salting a mine is a federal offense.

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  22. Gotta love that last sentence in #10. I laughed all the way through to the end just thinking about #10. Better find some more stuff to put on eBay, John. πŸ˜€

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    1. Ha haha. Thanks, Hugh. πŸ˜€

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  23. Brilliant, John. You must be doing a bit of research for these ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just a little, Robbie. Thank you.

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  24. I bet an awful lot of men spent their life savings getting out here and had Gold Fever when it was learned thar was Gold in them thar hills!

    Levi’s! 501 button up jeans. Classics if ever there was one. I have one pair- I bought them in WY. back in 83′ they still fit! I don’t wear them anymore I’m just hanging on to them cause they’re the real deal.

    Great list! You’re on a roll with this Historical Top Ten’s!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debrah. I have a pair of button fly 501’s that I do wear. Can’t remember when and where I got them but they are thirty or more years old.

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      1. I can you wearing them there in TX with cowboy boots. They’d look amazing with cowboy boots.

        I’ve only worn mine with hiking boots.

        The denim back then seemed a lot more durable and thicker than today’s doesn’t it?

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      2. I think so. I only put them on maybe twice a year though.

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      3. Oh, and the only reason I can recall the year I bought them and place is because He-Man, myself and Big Baby Boy who was a toddler then were on our Amazing, Epic USA cross country road trip vacation. We spent 6 weeks driving, and camping around the country. While in Yellowstone N.P. in July it started to snow, and storm, and I’d only brought summer clothes for myself and our toddler! I needed a pair of jeans so went to the General Store and bought my 501’s there. I bought a nice warm fleece hoodie for Big Baby Boy, and He- Man…I can’t remember what he bought if anything.

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      4. What memories in a pair of jeans.

        Liked by 1 person

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