COLUMBIA — Columbia State Historic Park will present “Diggins Tent Town 1852”, their annual living history event May 18-21.
Sponsored by the non-profit organization Friends of Columbia and Columbia State Historic Park and depicted by over 150 costumed volunteers, visitors can experience the events and environment of an 1850’s mining camp that is re-created in detail from the clothing, food and entertainment.
The event weaves visitors through the characters’ lives of 1852 Columbia; the powerful stories of early miners and their wives, politics and daily events. Meet the merchants, artisans and entertainers who have come to the Diggins to “mine the miners’ pockets.” Interact and observe the lifestyles of the early miners as they prepare their meals, launder their clothing and care for gardens and livestock. Learn about their crafts, how their children played, their music and other forms of entertainment – including gambling! A variety of foods, drinks and other items are available for purchase inside the event.
Susie Webb, long-time park volunteer, talks about why she has played a role in this event for over 15 years: “We really just love to entertain and educate the public on this important part of California’s past —- the Gold Rush. We do it for the love of history.” You can find Susie, aka, Mrs. Freeman, at the American Hotel during the four day event preparing delicious meals and interpreting hotel life during 1852.
Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, admission to Columbia “Diggins 1852” is $7 per adult and $2 per child 12 and under. There is no charge for parking and admission to the park. For more information contact Columbia Visitor Services at www.parks.ca.gov/Columbia or call (209) 588-9128.
Columbia State Historic Park, located in Tuolumne County, California, is designated as a National Historic Landmark District and has been preserved to tell the story of the towns which arose during the California Gold Rush to serve the needs of miners. California State Parks has restored and continues to preserve over 30 of the original brick buildings along the town’s Main Street.
Columbia State Historic Park annually hosts over 400,000 visitors and is a major tourist destination in Tuolumne County. Its many historic-style stores and restaurants are run by over 20 concessionaires whose businesses, along with park staff and volunteers, help recreate the experience of the California Gold Rush for visitors from around the world.