Fools Gold, CA

THE LAND OF HAPPY ENDINGS

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c.1300

A matriarchal tribe of Native Americans, the Ma’a-zib, settles on the shore of the lake that is now known as Lake Ciara. Little is known of this mysterious tribe. Other indigenous tribes share oral legends even today of the band of women and children who appeared from the south with tales of an amazing yearlong journey on foot. The women were said to enjoy the company of men, but would not let the men become a part of their community. A curse is said to have kept men away. Even today, some superstitious people attribute the gender imbalance in Fool’s Gold to this ancient curse.

1581

An English crewman who served under Sir Francis Drake writes an account of being injured in the mountains and enjoying respite in the California settlement of a matriarchal tribe of natives. He was forced to leave as soon as he recovered. His description suggests this tribe was the Ma’a-zib tribe of Fool’s Gold.

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1773

Spain sends a small contingent of Franciscan padres to create a mission in the area. The monks are unsuccessful after a series of baffling but bloodless attacks derail their plans each time the mission nears completion. In letters home, they attribute the attacks to the Ma’a-zib tribe. This is the last written evidence of the Ma’a-zibs. Their fate remains unknown today.

1849

An 18-year-old woman, Ciara O’Farrell, on her way to an arranged marriage to a wealthy older man, flees from her ship in San Francisco Bay to look for gold in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Captain Ronan McGee pursues Ciara with the intent of returning her to her fiancé.

Fresh from Ireland’s potato famine, Ciara spends what little money she has to buy prospecting rights to a patch of land in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Ronan says the move is sheer folly, but the couple falls in love anyway. Together, they strike it rich and establish the city of Fool’s Gold. Ronan builds an enormous mansion for his lady love, which comes to be known as Ronan’s Folly.

Picturesque Lake Ciara got its name from our headstrong founding mother, and the streets of town are named after the couple’s 10 children.

Children love panning for gold at the Eureka! Gold Mine, built on the site of Ciara and Ronan’s discovery of gold.
1869

Fool’s Gold is connected to the rest of the nation via the first transcontinental railroad. Riding a historic steam-powered train through the vineyards outside of town is popular with tourists and locals alike.

1872

Fools Gold is incorporated.

1906

Tremors from the San Francisco Earthquake cause extensive damage in Fool’s Gold, and one incredible discovery. A landslide reveals a large cave at the base of Mount Gray Owl, filled with beautiful artifacts believed to have been created and stored there by the Ma’a-zib tribe. (The tribe did not apparently live in the cave but used it as a library of sorts.) Archaeologists and historians are still flummoxed by how little the Ma’a-zib tribe seems to have in common with neighboring tribes.

Many of the artifacts are made of solid gold and can be found in museums around the world. The Ma’a-zib museum of Fool’s Gold boasts the greatest collection of these artifacts and is open to the public 7 days a week.

The earthquake in 1989 caused the Cave of Wonder to collapse. Experts consider the damage irreparable. Only photographs remain of the delicate paintings that decorated the cave walls.
Fools Gold1927

The silent film “Ruby and the Watchman” is filmed in Fool’s Gold. As one of few movies of the time to be filmed away from a soundstage, it becomes the most expensive movie ever made up to that point. Director Paulio Marcucci is mocked without mercy by the press of the day… until the film is screened and critics almost unanimously declare it to be worth every penny spent.

1933

Largely because of “Ruby and the Watchman,” many desperate Oklahomans fleeing the Dust Bowl choose to settle in Fool’s Gold. At first, they’re disappointed by the lack of employment opportunities, but the ingenious residents of Fool’s Gold put their new neighbors to work building The Gold Rush Ski Lodge and Resort, still a major tourist attraction today.

1943

Rosie the Riveter may very well have come from our little town. Fool’s Gold becomes a virtual ghost town as men leave for war and women leave to work in the factories of San Francisco. The people who remain in town do their part for the war effort, too. Rather than simple one-family victory gardens common across the country, the citizens who remain in Fool’s Gold pool their resources to plant a massive victory garden in Pyrite Park. Once a week, they bring fresh vegetables to the USO Club in San Francisco, and fruit from nearby orchards.

1967

Established during the Summer of Love, Golden Acres becomes one of the largest hippie communes in the state of California.

1976

In the year of the nation’s bicentennial, Fool’s Gold is named “Parade Capital of California” for the numerous festivals and parades we host throughout the year. We work hard every year to earn the right to keep that title.

1981

California University establishes the Fool’s Gold Campus.

2003

Fool’s Gold’s favorite native son Josh Golden wins the first of two Tour de France bicycle races.

2008

With 32 years in office, Mayor Marsha Tilson becomes California’s longest serving mayor.

2010

Early census reports indicate what many Fool’s Gold residents have long known: Fool’s Gold is suffering from a man shortage. City leaders vow to address the issue. Their first step is to recruit experienced City Planner Charity Jones, and task her with the job of attracting male-dominated businesses to Fool’s Gold.

2011

Through the dedicated efforts of the town’s women, the Fool’s Gold man shortage has begun to reverse itself.

 
2011

Short-lived reality show, True Love or Fool’s Gold, filmed in town. One of the real-life stars of the show – Sasha Andersson – goes on to become famous actor in Hollywood.

2012

The Lucky Lady Casino and Resort opens, bringing new influx of tourists to Fool’s Gold.

2012

Josh Golden’s Cycling School opens to much fanfare in Fool’s Gold. International press and elite cyclists are surprised to see an elephant take part in the festivities, but Priscilla, the first pachyderm citizen of Fool’s Gold, has become a regular sight for residents. Of course, the grand opening is the first time they’ve seen her in spandex bicycle shorts.