Meet & Greet

Announcing the 2016 California Gold Rush Gretsch Roundup!


Announcing The 2016 California Gold Rush Roundup!

When: September 9, 10 and 11
Where: Camp Lodestar, 6135 Blue Mountain Road, Wilseyville, CA 95257

On January 24, 1848, while overseeing the construction of a sawmill on the American River in Coloma for Capt. John Sutter, James Marshall saw something glimmering in the water. He reached down and pulled from the rushing waters a nugget of gold and he soon found upwards of a dozen more. With this historic discovery, the fate of the then-sparsely-settled California changed forever.

There had been unsubstantiated claims of the discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada foothills, but none had been verified before now. Finally, in December 1848, when James Polk, the nation’s President, confirmed to Congress that gold had indeed been discovered in California, the rush was on. From far and near, gold-seekers, or “Forty-Niners” as they became known, all came west in hopes of finding their own riches by merely picking up nuggets of gold from the stream beds.

The rapid influx of settlers to the state resulted in the creation of a state constitution, a governorship, and a state legislature and, the following year, California became an official State. Almost overnight, San Francisco became a major financial capital. The railroad was extended to California and sailing ships called frequently upon the Port of San Francisco.

Eureka! California was on the map.

This year’s California Gold Rush Gretsch Roundup celebrates this wonderful era of our state’s and nation’s history. Through the mining towns of Sonora, Sutter Creek and Jackson, we will find our way into the Sierra foothills to the little town of Wilseyville where the 2016 California Gold Rush Gretsch Roundup will occur.

At last year’s Roundup in Alameda, we talked about what GDPers would want to see in future Roundups. The things that stood out to me were that we wanted it to be spread over several days, and to have it occur at a location where we could overnight and take our meals. Making it easily affordable for everyone was also an important consideration that was discussed. So, I have spent the last several months searching out a location where we could have these features. Welcome to Camp Lodestar!

If I can line it up with Camp management to have a lifeguard present, we would even be able to use the Camp's swimming pool, which, if the weather is warm, might be an inviting activity.

Due to the economics involved, as well as the fact that it is a new venue, I have elected to shorten our event by one day as we try out Camp Lodestar and as we gauge our level of attendance. Depending upon the number of guests that attend, and whether there is sufficient interest to increase it back to our prior four-day event, we can certainly give that consideration. But, for now, we will arrive on Friday afternoon and depart mid-day on Sunday.

Much like we experienced at the Clair Tappaan Lodge, the accommodations at Camp Lodestar are modest yet entirely functional. Sleeping quarters are dormitory style with mattressed bunks upon which you can place your own sheets and blankets, or roll out your own sleeping bag. Showers and toilets are in each of the dormitories and each dormitory is serviced by a swamp cooler in the event that we have warm weather.

Camp Lodestar features a main dining hall where we will receive three hot meals a day (no brown bag lunches). The manager of the camp whom I met with at the Camp (who is a guitar player himself) assured me that the meals which are prepared at Camp Lodestar would be appreciably better than one would find at any other facilities like it. Vegetarian meals can be readily prepared and other dining needs would be gladly considered.

The dining hall is very spacious and we will have abundant room to not only dine but to set up our gear and play. In short, the dining hall will become the center of our time there with all major functions occurring there. Happily, we will have the camp to ourselves and we are far enough out into the woods where we won’t have any concerns about the volume levels or about others crashing our event.

I am continuing to work out the details with the Camp management about cost, but it appears that it will be approximately $170 per guest for the entire Roundup. The charges are for room and board and there is no fee which we are charging for attending the Roundup itself.

Because the Camp expects payment prior to the event, we will need to collect payment in advance. This doesn’t mean that last minute attendees are precluded from attending because they did not register in advance, but it does mean that I need to collect in advance sufficient attendance fees to equal the the advances which I have guaranteed and must pay.

The location of the Camp should be closer for those in Southern California than was the case at the Clair Tappaan Lodge. Google Maps tells me that it is about a six-hour journey from West Los Angeles. From most Bay Area and South Bay locations, it should also be noticeably closer.

This Roundup will be a little different for us in terms of how we recruit musicians to help us with the rhythm section. While on Donner Summit, I was able to recruit some of my local musician friends to help us on bass and drums. Last year in Alameda, we had some musician friends of Scott Rust and Mel Waldorf who helped us out. In both instances, it was simply a day-long committal for these recruits who were able to return home each night. This year, because of the Camp’s location, we will need to recruit those people to join us there at the Camp.

So, what I will need is an indication of how many people will plan to attend the Roundup. I need to be certain that we can meet our minimum. Please announce your intentions to attend here in the thread so that I can keep something of a running head-count for planning purposes. You will help me out considerably by announcing your intentions early. We won’t begin to collect funds for a while still, but I need to know that we will meet our minimum.

Of course, our pal, Joe Carducci, will be in attendance and I am confident that we can get him to reprise the “Ask Joe Anything” question and answer session on Saturday evening.

With the new venue, and the uncertainties that accompany that, I have not planned for a special guest to join us this year. At least, not yet. It will depend directly upon the kind of turnout that I can expect at the event.

So, please announce your intentions here and let’s look forward to another great Roundup event this year.


This looks like a home run!


Sounds like a great replacement for Claire Tappaan! Unfortunately Carol and I will not be able to make it as we're attending the wedding of some dear friends that weekend


Dang looks like fun. My father used to live in Auburn, out that way.


Auburn is pretty close to where I live, DCBirdMan. I frequently used to have to drive there to work.


Hour and a half drive for me. I'm in.

Interesting note, the schoolhouse is located in the Marshalls Corner section of Hopewell.

From WIKI; James Wilson Marshall, of English descent, was born to Philip Marshall and Sarah Wilson (married 1808) at the family homestead in Hopewell Township, New Jersey (then part of Hunterdon County, New Jersey, currently part of Mercer County) on October 8, 1810.[2] The family homestead was known as the Round Mountain Farm and is still known as Marshall's Corner.[3] He was the oldest of four children, and the only male. In 1816, the Marshall family relocated to nearby Lambertville, where Philip constructed a house on approximately five acres of land.[4]


Well if I was still living in Watsonville I'd be there for sure! All those restored little towns in the gold mining counties are true treasures to visit. You folks attending will have a great time in a great locale!


"Finally, in December 1948, when James Polk, the nation’s President, confirmed to Congress that gold had indeed been..."

I think Polk was not president in 1948.

This looks awesome.

Wish I could be there.


"Finally, in December 1948, when James Polk, the nation’s President, confirmed to Congress that gold had indeed been..."

I think Polk was not president in 1948.

This looks awesome.

Wish I could be there.

– crowbone

Crowbone, I need you to proof all of my work too. LOL Thanks for pointing it out. Of course, it was 1848.


And, by the way, John, it would be way cool to have you attend.


So they will not have bedding available, correct?

Bob, what is the best airport to fly into? Still Reno? Sacramento?


Looks like a good place to turn it up to 11 and there will be nobody around to complain; a big plus for round ups. Have a great time.


And it's right up the road from Bummerville!

This has to be the quintessential California Gold Rush town name of them all!


So they will not have bedding available, correct?

Bob, what is the best airport to fly into? Still Reno? Sacramento?

– Don Birchett

Don, they do not have linens there for your use. You can bring your own, however. Also, the best airport to fly into would be Sacramento, California. It is a little over 1 1/2 hours drive from the airport to the camp.

Although I have not looked into it myself, it may be that there would be a sporting goods shop or an outfitters shop where you could rent yourself a bedroll. I would look for an outfitters shop in Sacramento, or in Jackson or Sutter Creek.


Count me in! Hollywood also. I will mention it to Hot Rod Michelle.


Excellent news, Sarah. I was in hopes that you would be able to attend. With the Roundup being a little closer to Southern California at this new location, I am in hopes that we might see some more faces from Southern California. I mean, even Tavo is trying to attend so that sets the bar for Southern Californians. Come on Los Angelinos and San Diegans and Orange County residents. You can do it.


Bump to get some exposure for this thread so I can get a handle on anticipated attendance.


I'm planning to go. And I'll see if I can wrangle a drummer and/or bass player too.


I might be able to make my way up. If I do, I'll play bass.


I am hoping to go and hoping to drag along another guitar player.


I might be able to make my way up. If I do, I'll play bass.

– Tele295

Tele295, that would be great if you could make it. Sarah93003 and Hollywood Vicki used to live where you live, and they are planning to attend. Perhaps you will see each other on the road.


If the National RU doesn't happen then I'm in.

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