I Grew Up in Gold Mining Country

After fourteen and a half years together, my husband only just realized the other day that the general store where I grew up literally sold gold pans, pick axes, tools, animal feed, various sundries, and livestock (mostly chicks and ducklings and goslings) underneath. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, the nearest city, Placerville, was 45 minutes away. These are pictures I took on a drive to my house chronicling the extreme vast nothingness of Mt. Aukum Road in El Dorado County, Northern California. Trees have lives of their own and are magical here, and the extreme poverty allows structures (mostly barns) to become severely decayed like a watercolor painting. These pictures are from 2008 when I went back for one afternoon after moving away 8 years earlier. Nothing had changed. In fact, businesses had closed down since I had left, so the area, in fact, devolved. This is my California.


by | February 13, 2015 · 10:52 pm

3 responses to “I Grew Up in Gold Mining Country

  1. Pingback: I Grew Up in Gold Mining Country via The Kindred Collective | The Brainery

  2. Jilly, when I taught 6th grade in Elk Grove, we used to take the kids for overnight trips to Sly Park. I don’t know these exact spots but I know the area a little. I also used to live in Merced, and in Modesto for a while. Point being, there is SO MUCH California that people never think of, beyond LA and San Francisco. And grown ups who’ve never seen the ocean or a famous person. Thanks for posting these gorgeous pictures.

    • jillydreadful

      Erin, thank you so much. Oh my, Elk Grove. That takes me back. For three years, my family lived in Roseville during the 80s. It’s the only time I ever lived in a neighborhood until a couple years ago when I finally bought a home of my own.

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