Saturday, June 26, 2010


I like Columbia State Park. It's an 1850's gold mining town. Visit it if you can.

Using my app Shoot'nPaste (which does OCR) I captured the following text from an informational sign on view nearby this Chinese apothecary. The OCR is sometimes very good. I edited a little.

"Chinese quickly came to Gum San (Gold Mountain), or California. Word spread rapidly
in war torn China that there was a "mountain of gold” waiting in California. At first Chinese, were
encouraged, even by the legislature to settle in California. As competition for dwindling gold increased, the Chinese were easily singled out
and laws were passed to discriminate against the Chinese."

"Chinese immigrants to California often were forced to live in specific areas in towns. Columbia’s Chinese would be confined to an area two blocks north of this store. The fire of 1857, was said to have started within the cramped Chinatown. This tragic event was used to ban the Chinese from living within City Limits. The Chinese never departed, they relocated to areas outside town.

More OCR from an informational plaque:

As the mining vitality of the 1850s and 1860s diminished, most mining claims were exhausted. Attention turned to hydraulic mining of vacant lots
and untouched lots under buildings. The necessary
water for this operation came from a stone flume,
or ditch, constructed through the center of town in September garbled by Haynes & Co. With this ditch, water was brought to almost any lot in town."

The shops are "authentic" in the sense that the are in 1850's structures and sell themed merch. Here's a counter in a candy store:

The jail used to be the powder storage, relocated to the edge of town after an unfortunate explosion at it's former location closer to the center of town:

Prisoner contact through this little hole. Not much has changed, it appears.

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone

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