Gold Fever! Comes to History Museum

LOS ALTOS, CA (July 6, 2021) The Gold Rush sweeps into town with Los Altos History Museum‘s latest exhibit, “Gold Fever! Untold Stories of the California Gold Rush,” on display July 22 – August 29, 2021.

Gold Rush-era photos, documents, and artifacts offer a glimpse into California before the discovery of gold over 150 years ago in the American River, the frenzied rush to the gold fields over land and by sea, the experience of vigilante justice, life in the rowdy gold camps, commerce and farming, and the shaping of California’s future.

The exhibition spotlights the stories of individual Californios, women, Native Americans, adventurers and gold seekers who emigrated from all parts of the world during the Gold Rush, an era that continues to shape California’s peoples, culture, environment, politics, and economy.

“We know the families in the area have been struggling this year with at-home schooling and missed summer trips, so we wanted to offer a family-friendly summer exhibition about a popular and approachable subject,” Executive Director Dr. Elisabeth Ward said. “The 49ers are iconic in California and we are looking forward to exploring this bygone time!”

To celebrate the opening of “Gold Fever,” the Museum is holding a “Pioneer Day” with hands-on activities Sunday, July 25 from 12 – 4pm. This Living History program, held outdoors, includes gold-panning, quilting, butter-making, clothes washing, and pioneer games. Visitors are encouraged to dress in Western wear to receive a raffle ticket for a grand prize drawing. Admission is $5 per party, and registration is required to comply with safety protocols.

In a program titled “Journey to Gold Mountain: Chinese and the Gold Rush,” author and historian Connie Young Yu will discuss the life and times of early Chinese in California, and how the racial strife they faced in the gold country grew into a nation wide-anti-Chinese movement. This program will be held both in person at the Museum and also via Zoom on August 12 at 6pm.

The “Gold Fever! Untold Stories of the California Gold Rush” traveling exhibition tour was organized by Exhibit Envoy in partnership with the Cal Humanities. Exhibit Envoy provides traveling exhibitions and professional services to museums throughout California.

To register for the programs, visit

Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. Tours of the J. Gilbert Smith House are available during open hours subject to docent availability. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact:
Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,