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Northern Highway 49 includes El Dorado, Placer, Nevada & Sierra Counties 
Includes Coloma, Placerville, Pilot Hill, Cool, Georgetown, Greenwood, Auburn, Colfax, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Rough & Ready, Downieville, Sierra City and smaller communities along the route.

Pages: 264 Photos: 232

with $45+ purchase

Book Detail
Golden Highway Vol. I & II

Preview the Chapters

Volume I, North

Introduction Preview
Chapter 1: El Dorado County Preview
Chapter 2: Placer County Preview
Chapter 3: Nevada County Preview
Chapter 4: Sierra County Preview
Index Preview

Volume II, South

Introduction: Preview
Chapter 1: Amador County Preview
Chapter 2: Calaveras County Preview
Chapter 3: Tuolumne County Preview
Chapter 4: Mariposa County Preview
Chapter 5: Madera County
Index: Preview

Southern Highway 49 includes Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa (with Yosemite), and Madera Counties 
Includes Jackson, Sutter Creek, San Andreas, Angels Camp, Sonora, Murphy's, Jamestown, Mariposa, Coulterville, Oakhurst and smaller communities along the route.

Pages: 302 Photos: 268

with $45+ purchase


Newspaper Reviews

History bites: 

By Carlos Alcalá - Bee Columnist
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Story appeared in section, Page G1

Although most of the '49ers were notoriously unlucky, or at least unable to hang on to much of their gold wealth, some folks can still mine the foothills profitably. Notable among them would be Jody and Ric Hornor, who are midway through a six-volume series of "Golden" books -- "Golden Corridor," "Golden Quest" and "Golden Highway" have been completed. They consider themselves compilers, having mined stacks of 19th century histories, letters, manuscripts and photos to put together bite-sized tales of the past. Their latest book, "Golden Highway," deals with the area around Highway 49 from El Dorado County to Sierra County. Its section on Placer includes the 1876 tale of one S.R. Kidder, owner of a prominent Iowa Hill mine. Kidder gave his watchman an order to shoot anyone he found near the mine, and then went to check up on the watchman. You probably can guess what happened next. Hear the Hornors read from their book Saturday at Winston Smith Books in Auburn. It's safe. No watchmen on guard. ...

History told through words, images of pioneers

Local couple producing series of history books

By: Gloria Beverage, Folsom Telegraph, Tuesday, October 10, 2006 

Jody Hornor enjoys going back in time.

In fact, Hornor, 55 and her husband, Ric, 56, have created a new career for themselves by producing history books that capture the words and images of the people who lived during the Gold Rush era.

While most history books are dry reading - "all facts, but no fun" - the Hornors' books take a different tack.



Modern-day 49ers Book offers unique look at Mother Lode Highway

By: Ansel Oliver, The Press-Tribune (Roseville) Friday, October 13, 2006 4:34 PM PDT

A new book explains the history of areas along Highway 49 in first-person accounts from journals, diaries and letters home.

"The Golden Highway, Volume I, 19th Century History Along Highway 49, El Dorado, Placer, Nevada & Sierra Counties" is a 264-page work from Pilot Hill residents Ric and Jody Hornor.




KFBK Radio

Reader Reviews


. . . The stories are often hilarious - relating tales of adventures and misadventures by miners, politicians, families, muleskinners, shopkeepers, saloonkeepers, sherriffs, lynch mobs, judges and a variety of ne'r-do-wells who populated the Sierra foothills during the time of the gold rush. There are also many tales of tragedy as greed, accidents and recklessness claimed the lives of many people unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or who happened to look at the wrong person in the wrong way.

As entertaining as the text is (and the some of the writing reads almost like poetry), this book is greatly enhanced by the many beautifully restored black and white photos from the 1850s to the early 1900s. They include wonderful images of everyday life in the area, amazing feats of engineering, and the tough conditions in the mines. . . 

. . . more . . . 


Emails directly to publisher:

I just picked up a copy of "The Golden Highway, Highway 49, Volume II." 

All of the content appears to be very interesting, but I especially like the quality of the black and white photos. Too few publishers take the time to restore and revitalize the historical images, I suppose to make them look more "historic." I consider this to be a great disservice to the original photographers who worked very hard to make high-quality images. Thanks for putting in the extra effort.

C.S. Publisher/Reader


I bought your Golden Highway on Saturday and absolutely love it!  My wife is reading it to.  But, I wanted to buy a copy for my father. Would you sign one copy To El...

Jerry P, Cool


Hello, we just discovered the Golden books about our area and think they are just fabulous! Can you please add me to your contact list. 



Thank you! The book {The Golden Highway] exceeded my expectations. I look forward to using your products and services in the future.

Dr. GK
Senior Historian
Wells Fargo & Company


Newspaper Reviews

Relive California's history in 'The Golden Highway' 

Amador Ledger Dispatch, Wednesday, July 18, 2007 

Living in Amador County can sometimes feel like taking a step back in time to the true Gold Country, but local publisher Electric-Canvas is hoping to do even better with its new book, "The Golden Highway: Highway 49, Volume II."

The second in a series on Highway 49, and third in the "Golden History" series, the book takes a novel approach - the text is compiled from actual documents created in the time period. Filled with excerpts from newspapers and personal correspondence, "The Golden Highway," launches readers back 150 years to the Gold Rush. The book also contains hundreds of restored vintage photographs, collected from museums and private collections with emphasis on previously unpublished finds.

This approach to historical writing has not gone unnoticed by critics and the "Golden History" series has claimed awards from the Independent Publisher magazine, and the Sacramento Historical Society.

Copies of "Golden Highway" can be found at Raley's supermarkets and online at 


Book takes a peek at the lives of Gold Rush pioneers

By Guy Keeler / The Fresno Bee 07/12/07

Ric and Jody Hornor of Pilot Hill have created a fascinating illusion of time travel in their new book on the southern region of California's gold country.



Pilot Hill couple puts out 3rd Gold Country history book

Georgetown Gazette, November 23, 2006 by Rebecca Murphy

Now three books in a potential series of six are available, just in time for the holidays




Hwy. 49 focus of second tome of Gold Rush series

By William Clark, Nevada County Union, 12:01 a.m. PT July 12, 2007

"The Golden Highway, Highway 49, Volume I," reviewed here last November, has won a Bronze medal from Independent Publishers Association. Volume II of the series - "The Golden Highway, Highway 49, Volume II, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, and Madera Counties" - released this June, covers the towns and counties along the southern portion of Highway 49 during the California Gold Rush. 


Links  Folsom History Museum  w Living in & History of El Dorado County

© 2009 Electric Canvas / 19th Century Books w 1001 Art Road, Pilot Hill, CA 95664 w 916.933.4490 w Contact