Museum theft – Gold Stolen from Columbia State Park! – Modesto Democrat |

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Gold Stolen from Columbia State Park! – Modesto Democrat |

Somebody broke into the Columbia State Historic Park Museum sometime between last Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning and stole the gold that has been on display there for tourists for decades. The thieves somehow managed to cut the lock on the huge metal doors that have proudly protected the museum like a fortress for over fifty years. The exact value of the gold stolen has yet to be determined; however according to Columbia State Park Ranger Barry Robertson, some of the items missing are several items with gold or individual pieces of gold from the museum.

Robertson went on to explain that there were no suspects in mind at this time and that even some “fools gold” had been stolen from the museum.

Columbia State Historic Park is located about five miles northeast of Sonora in Tuolumne County, California. It truly is reminiscent of a walk into the past, namely the nineteenth century. It has a fully operational blacksmith shop, a gold mining station, a candle making shop, an old fashioned candy store, an ice cream store, a mercantile, a general store, an nineteenth century hotel that is fully restored and named the “City Hotel,” and a graveyard that is rumored to be haunted. In addition, the town has an old, one room schoolhouse up the hill and a fully operational, old time bar that is called the St. Charles Saloon. Here you can get all kinds of beers on tap as well as a special soft drink called sarsaparilla which is made from a vine from Central America. The kids love it! You also can eat peanuts here and drop the shells right onto the floor. They have entertainment on most weekends as well as a pool table.

In the late spring and all through the summer there are tours of Columbia led by docents. It truly is a fun place to be. While you are there, don’t forget to check out the Fallon House Theater which is a fully restored nineteenth century live theater production house that has classic live performances all through the spring and summer put on by very talented college students from all over the world.

The thieves may have stolen the gold from the museum; but they did not manage to steal the character and spirit of the town of Columbia. That will always be there and it is just beckoning you to come and visit!

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