Columbia State Historic Park

Historic Site in Columbia

The so-called ‘Gem of the Southern Mines’ is like a miniature Gold Rush Disneyland, but with more authenticity and heart. Four blocks of town have been preserved, where volunteers perambulate in 19th-century dress and demonstrate gold panning. The blacksmith’s shop, theater, hotels and saloon are all carefully framed windows into California’s past. The yesteryear illusion of Main St is shaken only a bit by fudge shops and the occasional banjo-picker or play-acting forty-niner whose cell phone rings.