A map of the gold mining districts of California showing mining locations and Native American villages, 1850.
In addition to information about towns, settlements, and gold mining camps, this map shows rivers and waterways in the region and uses hachures, or short parallel lines, to show areas of elevation. The terms used to describe places also provide clues as to the type of mining taking place there. “Bar” claims referred to places where gold could be found in shallow sand or gravel in riverbeds. “Dry Diggings” referred to ravines where gold could be mined from the ground during the summer but would be flooded, or “wet,” in the winter. Names associated with a location suggest the person or group who had staked a claim to that particular location and the gold that was discovered there.