The morning of April 12, 1859 started like most other mornings for the miners working the Willard Claim on the West Branch of the Feather River just across the canyon from Dogtown. The men were hard at work washing the mountain away with the force of water pressure using the hydraulic mining technique. Then, as Chauncy Wright, one of the hired hands, bent over to pick up what he at first considered to be just another rock, he made a discovery that would end up in the record books. Because on that morning, Chauncy and his fellow miners uncovered a 54 pound gold nugget!
Needless to say, word quickly spread and the community of Dogtown celebrated the momentous discovery for several days. And as producer/host Huell Howser discovers in this adventure, the celebration is still going on ! Huell and cameraman Luis Fuerte travel to the town of Paradise, just down the road from Dogtown in Butte County, for the annual Gold Nugget Days Celebration, complete with a parade and all sorts of community festivities. The local citizens also take him to the actual area where the huge nugget was found — an area where modern-day miners are still searching for gold. There's also an E Clampus Vitus Donkey Derby and a visit to the Gold Nugget Museum included in this adventure.