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By Miriam Raftery

May 26, 2014 (Julian)--Julian celebrates its Gold Rush Days next weekend, May 31st and June 1st, bringing to life the community’s colorful past.

East County’s historic gold mining town was founded right after the Civil War by Confederate veterans who headed west to seek their fortunes.

The town was named for Mike Julian, who settled here with his cousin, Drue Bailey.  But a cattleman, Fred Coleman found those first lucky flecks of gold in a creek in Julian in 1870, setting off a gold rush in this region.

This weekend, you can step back in time to experience what Julian was like during those Gold Rush Days.

Julian Mining Company on Highway 79 will have historical encampments where you can pan for gold and meet miners, mountain men and cowboys, see tomahawk throwing and mock claim jumps, as well as gunfights.  There will also be an arts and crafts market, gem mining, pioneer games, food and drinks. Admission is free at this location.

The Eagle High Peak Mine and Museum will also be open for tours, taking you inside the mine to see what life was like in the early days of gold mining.

Throughout Julian’s historic downtown district, you can participate in a scavenger hunt and be on the lookout for a “golden nugget” at participating stores.

You can also take a special train ride offered by Julian Train and Gold Mine Tours; for reservations call 760-765-2288.

In addition, Julian Doves and Desperados will perform historic comedy skits at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. both days next to the Julian Market.

Julian’s days as a mining boom town were over in just a few years, but soon a new bonanza was found in the rich agricultural soils that yielded bountiful crops of apples.  No visit to Julian is complete without savoring apple cider and the hand-made apple pies that have become the town’s motherlode in modern times.

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