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The Gold Hill Ranch, near Coloma, served as the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony from 1869-1871. It was the 1st Japanese settlement in the U.S. and was established by 22 samurai who fled Japan after the civil wars. The colony operated for 2 years as a tea & silk farm before it failed. In 2010, the American River Conservancy purchased the ranch to preserve the history and culture of those who lived there.