From the Guidebook:
Columbia, the 'Gem of the
Southern Mines,' became a town of 4,000 to 5,000 in the
1850s, following the discovery of gold here by the Hildreth
party March 27, 1850. Gold shipments, estimated at $87,000,000,
declined rapidly after 1858, but Columbia never became
a ghost town. Columbia State Historic Park was created
in 1945 to preserve its historic buildings and sites.