The Angels Camp Museum Foundation in collaboration with the staff and historians at the Angels Camp Museum is announcing the launch of a self-guided audio tour bringing the history of the California Gold Rush to life as visitors explore the museum’s three-acre campus. The official launch is timed to coincide with the museum’s April 11 Living History Day where the Carpentry, Printing and Weaving artisan exhibits will all be staffed by docents in period costume and demonstrating their crafts.
A variety of fun and informative games for kids of all ages will be led by the museum’s education coordinator, Jim Miller, and Johnny’s food truck will be on hand to handle the appetites that result.
“Not only does the self-guided audio tour allow us to share more historical content, it allows us to share it with more people,” said Chuck Schneider, Museum Coordinator. “The staff had a hand during each step in development from fact-checking to selecting the narrators. It’s really exciting to see our work come to life with music and special sound effects.”
Thanks to the museum staff and resident historians, an excellent docent script was already in use and served as the foundation for the expanded digital docent script. Content that had been written for the artisan exhibits in the Mining & Ranching Building is also included along with an expanded number of artifacts featured with their historical significance.
The result is a 60-minute tour that starts in the main building with the Rush for Gold, Mark Twain and Medicine in Gold Rush exhibits. The tour moves on to the Carriage House where visitors hear in-depth histories of some of the museum's extensive collection of buggies and wagons including the stunning 1850s Downing and Son’s stagecoach on loan from the Native Sons of the Golden West.
The tour includes artifacts both inside and out and concludes in the Mining and Ranching building where the artisan, gem and mineral and farm and ranching exhibits are located. Just outside this last building is the Museum’s Gold Panning station where visitors can test their skills (and their patience) at panning like the original miners.
The Museum was fortunate to acquire six letters from a Massachusetts family whose Italian Immigrant friend moved to Angels Camp and penned the letters about what life was like in the small mining town from 1856-1858. From these, a companion track on the audio tour tells the story of their friend, Andrew Galliardo in his own words with additional historical facts and photos.
“The Gold Rush is more than just a footnote in America’s history,” said Jim Miller, Education Coordinator for the Museum. “Imagine how different our country might be had the news of the discovery of Gold not been announced widely by President Polk, news that sparked the rush to California in the first place hastening its statehood.”
The Angels Camp Museum welcomes visitors from all over the world regularly, and plans to make the tour available in multiple languages are on the horizon. Gold Panning and the new Audio Tour each have an additional $5.00 fee. During the launch month, the museum is offering a combined rate of $7.50 for visitors wishing to purchase both admission and the audio tour. This offer will extend through the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee taking place at the Calaveras County Fair Grounds, known locally as Frog Town USA, May 14-17.
Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Thursday-Monday. For more information about the Museum and upcoming events, visit our website or call (209) 736-2963.
About the Angels Camp Museum Foundation
The Angels Camp Museum Foundation supports the development and expansion of the collections, programs and resources of the Angels Camp Museum in Angels Camp, Calaveras County, California, and to establish it as one of the premier local history and educational museums in Northern California. The Angels Camp Museum is located 753 S Main St (Hwy 49), Angels Camp, CA. For more information, please visit our website or call (209) 736-2963.