In 1850, Nancy (Ross) Gooch (center) was brought to California by her owner, leaving her only son behind in Missouri. After she was freed by laws prohibiting slavery in California, she was able to buy her son’s (Andrew Monroe) and his wife’s freedom by sewing, cooking, and doing laundry for miners.
Nancy and her family were well respected in the community. They acquired a substantial amount of the land in the Coloma area. Their land included a successful 320 acre fruit farm as well as the site where Sutter’s saw mill originally stood.