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Folsom A to Z: “Folsom Jim” Phillips

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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Editor’s note: Folsom A to Z is an intermittent series in the Telegraph where readers can learn facts and history about Folsom. Each week, the Telegraph will select a landmark, place, historical figure and major historical event that start with the next letter of the alphabet. This week we continue with “J.”

  • “Folsom Jim” Phillips was a long-time Folsom resident who periodically would give guided tours on foot around the Folsom Historic District in 1964.
  • Phillips would take visitors, school children and anyone who wanted to listen on tours to point out all of the historic locations.
  • Phillips also gave gold panning demonstrations as well as told the story of Folsom Gold.
  • In 1966, Phillips opened a gold mining museum in the warehouse section of the former Southern Pacific depot.
  • In the museum were replicas and original gold mining equipment including Chinese rockers, sluice boxes, gold pans, scales, retorts, hydraulic monitors and more.
  • Also in the museum were an assortment of photographs and other mementos of the early days to help tell the gold mining story.