Discovery of gold in the area by the Thaddeus Hildreth party on March 27, 1850 sparked the growth of Columbia as a boomtown. The frenzy that followed in search of the precious metal reflected one of the most colorful periods in California history. The gold rush was definitely on and Columbia was perceived as a place where quick wealth could be gotten easily. Come and join the staff and volunteers at Columbia State Historic Park in celebrating the momentous event that drew crowds from all over the world to our rustic foothills location. The celebration takes place on Monday this year in the middle of town with a speech, cake, punch and reenactments as costumed docents gather together to recognize that memorable day.