1-24-2019 Boatjobsonly.com ~ James Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. This started the gold rush on this day 1848. The gold rush was a disaster for ship owners and Captains as crews jumped ship along with passengers to find gold leaving a fleet of stranded vessels. Many of the ships ended up as floating storage or made into shops being pulled ashore. Over 25,000 gold seekers arrived by sea.