The book also makes a useful travel companion with its lists of historical sites and museums to visit in each county.
Maps, photographs, rancho charts, biographical sidebars, and endnotes full of intriguing bits of information add interest that will extend the life of the book well into the new millennium.
An introductory chapter summarizes the history of California before 1850 and describes California's government, architecture, modes of transportation, and industry in 1850. A special section in the introduction describes the colorful society in the Gold Country, as well as the gold mining methods of the time.
The other 27 chapters correspond with the original counties. Where appropriate, these chapters are divided into sections that describe the areas that later became the other 31 counties that exist today.
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