The historic town of Coarsegold, located on the lower slopes of the Sierra Mountains along Yosemite Highway 41, offers a glimpse into the 1849 California Gold Rush. Coarsegold has previously had several names, including Coarse Gold, Gold Gulch, Michaels, Oro Grosso, Texas Flat, and Coarse Gold Gulch. The place was first called Texas Flat after miners from Texas discovered gold there in 1849. By 1874, the name had changed to Michaels, honoring Charles Michaels, a local merchant. A rival mining camp inhabited by Mexicans there was called Oro Grosso. The first gold nuggets were found here in 1852, and even today visitors and gold prospectors find the valuable mineral in the area’s streams and mines. While much of the area is claimed and inaccessible to the casual gold-panning enthusiast, you may find a bit of the yellow stuff in the local river or in the village. The small town of Coarsegold got its name from the coarse chunks of gold found in the area’s streams and rivers in the mid-1800s. The possibility of more gold helped the town spring to life, harboring miners who worked the area known to be the southernmost tip of the Mother Lode. The Coarse Gold Gulch post office opened in 1878, changed the name to Goldgulch in 1895 and to Coarsegold in 1899. By 1851, the population of Coarsegold reached 10,000, but once the gold became more difficult to find, the small town became better known as a stop for travelers heading to Yosemite National Park.