This volume explores the human stories of the California Gold Rush. In less than ten years, more than 300,000 people made the journey to California, some from as far away as Chile and China. Many of them were dreamers seeking a better life, like Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, who eventually became the first African American judge, and Eliza Farnham, an early feminist who founded California’s first association to advocate for women’s civil rights. Still others were eccentrics—perhaps none more so than San Francisco’s self-styled king, Norton I, Emperor of the United States. Sierra College historian and Grass Valley native son Gary Noy will present an illustrated talk on some of the unusual and lesser-known stories with a special focus on Gold Rush entertainment, including performers and dining habits.