There were many stories that encouraged prospects to run to the hills of California in 1849. How could one not hope to find the “mother lode?” The energy that pulled you to the mines was like a rush that spread with zeal. As if they were motivated by something wonderful that they yet couldn’t touch or see but they knew it was there. The tales of riches that went through the grapevine were enchanting almost as if they held a magic fascination. Like the story about two brothers who began prospecting in the California Mountains and within two years had found about 2 million in gold.
Not everyone that came to California came for the gold rush; there were others that set up shop near the mines. They all had a story to tell themselves. One of those men was named Sam Brannan who started the ‘California Star,’ San Francisco’s first newspaper. He owned the only supply store in Sutter’s Fort now known as the city of Sacramento. When gold was first discovered he was paid with gold that people found at Sutter’s Mill where the gold rush had begun. He was a witty man who saw opportunity in every corner. For twenty cents he bought every iron pan in San Francisco and sold them for $8 to $16 dollars each to every miner that came to pan for gold; with that he was able to open up more supply stores nearby and buy land in California and Hawaii.
But he was not the only one to encounter an opportunity. All you needed was work hard, a good idea and you were part of a growing business. It was just exhilarating to be among these individuals all looking for an opportunity all feeling the elation of being alive. Women who came along for the ride with their families also found advantage during those times. One woman made meat pies for miners, others did laundry making as much as $100 a week. That was a lot in that time especially for women to make. During the Gold Rush opportunity was there.
Seek to find the gold that others were fortunate to discover. It might not be 1849 but today is the day to seek our goals. Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”. M. Stieg