With a profound influx of people who migrated to Coloma to join the economic boom, many stores, farms, and businesses took up shop, earning their proprietors money beyond their imagination. African American people were among the many who came to Northern California and purchased land, opened stores, mined for gold, and created their own histories in California. Many early Black pioneers arrived as enslaved people; some were born free or with unknown statuses.
Among these early Black settlers were Peter and Nancy Gooch, who were moved from Missouri to California by their enslaver William Gooch in 1849. Peter and Nancy quickly gained their freedom when California entered statehood in 1850. Newly freed, they used this opportunity to work and save money; purchase property; and bring their son Andrew Monroe, his wife Sarah Ellen, and sons Pearley and Grant to California.
Through their work as successful farmers and domestic workers, the Gooch-Monroe Family would eventually own 420 acres of land in Coloma, including the original site of Marshall's gold discovery at Sutter’s Mill. In the 1940s, the state acquired a portion of the property from the Gooch-Monroe family and two other black families under eminent domain. This established the state park we know today as Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park.