Book: “Images of America: Coloma”
Author: Betty Sederquist
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing, 2012
Cost: Softcover, 128 pages, $21.99
Through historical photographs and photos of paintings and sketches done by notable Gold Rush artists,”Images of America: Coloma” creates a pictorial history of the epicenter of the California Gold Rush, from the early days of the Nisenan Indians who lived there to the town’s current status as the location of Marshall Gold Discovery State Historical Park.
From Native American village to booming Gold Rush town to agricultural and winery center to tourist mecca with whitewater rafting and living history exhibits, the town of Coloma has waxed and waned.
Photographs and text capture the lawlessness of the mining camps, the former slaves who built thriving orchards and vegetable businesses, the celebrity studded celebrations of the gold discovery and the history of rafting and kayaking on the American River.
The book also includes a pictorial history of nearby Gold Hill and Lotus.
The photographs used throughout the book come from the California State Library in Sacramento, the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park and from the collections of local residents.
“Coloma” author, Betty Sederquist, 66, is a Lotus resident who grew up in the Coloma State Park as the daughter of the state park ranger.
“I was in the last class to attend school in the historic Coloma schoolhouse,” remembered Sederquist. “We enjoyed summers swimming in the river. This was before the Chili Bar Dam was built, so the waters were fairly warm.”
Because of her roots in the community, Sederquist was able to approach people in the community in order to ask for the use of some of the photographs in personal collections.
“In return, I restored many of the best photos and gave folks some prints plus all the restored photographs on a DVD,” said Sederquist.
She is a photographer who leads photography tours around the world and she has taught photo restoration at Folsom Lake College for many years.
Sederquist, a freelance writer for newspapers and magazines, has been the editor, author and ghost writer for many publications and considers “Coloma” to be her ninth book.
Some of the information she included in the book came from documents her father, who died in 1977, researched and wrote.
“A lot of the information about Coloma didn’t make it into this book because of space constraints, so I do hope to write more about Coloma,” said Sederquist.
Sederquist will be holding a book launch event at the El Dorado Arts Council ArtSpace, 459 Main St. Placerville, from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18.
Books will be available for purchase with 10 percent discount for EDAC members.
For more information about the event call 530-295-3496 or visit the Website at eldoradoartscouncil.org.
“Images of America: Coloma” is also available online at Amazon.com., at arcadiapublishing.com. and Barnes&Noble.com. Locally, the book is available at EDAC and the Placerville News Company in Placerville. Sederquist will also be doing another book signing at the Sierra Nevada House on Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m.