A Brief History of Hickory
It started with a pickaxe. That and a sturdy shovel were just about all a man needed to strike it rich in 1849—when the Gold Rush led thousands to seek their fortunes in California territory. These “49ers” invested day after day of back-breaking work, seeking the Mother Lode with durable hickory-handled tools. Hickory withstands impact without splintering, making it ideal for tools. Beyond its utility is its beauty: shades of cocoa, cherry, and blond best showcased when hickory is milled into long, wide planks for flooring. Though never used in construction, hickory-handled mining tools helped build America, transforming San Francisco from village to metropolis and ushering California to statehood.