Sacramento Gold Rush Movie · Gold Discovery

THE GOLdEN TREE (2010) is a Gold Rush Movie about a father who peeks his daughter’s interest about the discovery of their historic relatives during the Sacramento gold rush, and when she finds a journal written by her great great, great, great uncle William Wimmer, a treasure hunt begins.

Written by Gerald Martin Davenport and Produced by Aria Pictures, THE GOLdEN TREE (2010) film brings in actual historic events and data into a present day treasure hunt. But there are many different kinds of treasure. Gold and monetary riches as well as historic family connections.

Old Western Epic

“THE GOLdEN TREE (2010) is just like an old western epic back in the day. Wonderful story and beautiful imagery. Is Family Friendly and A Must See.”

— February 6, 2011. Steve Dakota


Sierra [Kyriè Sierra Davenport], her Dad [Gary Udell], and her little sister Brooke [Karly Avva] discover their ancestors were influential during the Gold Rush in Sacramento through a journal written by William Riley Wimmer [Aria Leven Davenport].

Based off of real people back in 1855, we travel back with outlaws Rattlesnake Dick [Jason Michael Shannon], George Skinner [Joseph Baldrige], Cyrus Skinner [Alex Harris], Rafael Escobar [Carey White Jr.], and Romero [Noble L. Engle] who rob two prospectors — Arlen [Bill Bettencourt] and Henry [Rob Tillitz] — panning for gold along a river bank.

The journal — that Sierra finds in her Great Great Grandma Cecilia Wimmer's [Toni Corbett] house — takes us back to 1848, the day John Sutter [Mark Hoffman] takes his wife Anna DuBelt [Meghan Bird] to his mill in Coloma, California where they meet up with James Marshall [Dan L. Walters] and the Wimmer's: Peter [Steven Sommer], Jennie [Amber DeAnn], George [Nolan Bourassa], young Sarah [Grace Rose], and young William [Adrien Bourassa], along with their house maid, Beatrice [Courtney Leonard-Maye] to confirm the discovery of gold.

The journal also tells of a possible treasure that William may have buried near Sutter's Fort.  One day William's quiet walk to his buried gold was disturbed as he crosses paths with Samuel Brannan [Steve Dakota] and Mee Lien [Yinique Myo-Flores] who happened to be on a morning stroll. William also tells of his encounters with Victoria Marie [Haley Hicks] — a girl who is infatuated with him — and her big brother Zeke [Rob Hayes]. William also sees his older sister Sarah [Susan Slaven] who happened to be looking for Benjamin [Aramis Liam], William's younger half brother who was following william, and Martha Jane [Claire Elizabeth], williams younger half sister, who was following Benjamin.

Sierra, her Dad, and Brooke, intrigued by the historic family information from the journal and their Genealogy, search for the gold buried near THE GOLdEN TREE (2010).

The Conception

Gerald was driving home on the evening of May 13, 2009 from the Cast & Crew call for A Place Called Sacramento where he handed out his demo reel, and secured an editing position for Detective A, and asked a question.

“I have lived in the area since 1979, and never heard of this screen writing contest. What would I write for next years contest if I were to submit? What does Sacramento have as a story that is Sacramento? It has to be about Sacramento and the area. It is called A Place called Sacramento.”

Gerald began his creative process as he drove up Interstate 80, and merged onto Highway 49 heading home to historic Grass Valley & Nevada City.

That is when it hit him. “I love history — accurate history — and I intrigued about the Gold Rush. What if…” Gerald began writing in his mind, and a campy version of National Treasure began to take life, but it did not breathe; it fought against every idea Gerald gave it, as though it did not want to exist that way.

Gerald has been creating music, stories, art, and editing for a very long time, and in his experience, either things have already existed and the artist is discovering them, or they were meant to be in existence and the artist is bringing it to life. Either way — as crazy as it sounds — Gerald heard the voices telling him to make it right.

Checking out 10 history books from the library, Gerald set out on a quest to find that unknown golden story, and he found it — or it was revealed to him — with one phrase in a book “Jenny told him it was gold before she put it in her lye pot.”

This Jenny was Jenny “Cloud” Wimmer, who was the cook for James Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma. Gerald felt a warmth through his veins; a feeling of excitement rushed through his body; a gasp of air was taken in and exhaled in elation; and the voices were pleased with themselves. Gerald heard a heart beating; and the story began to write itself.

TRIVIA: The story was titled “Gold Rush Story” while being written, and did not take the name of THE GOLdEN TREE (2010) until it was finished; Gerald asked Aria, Kyriè, and Tamara, after they read it, what they think it should be named, but he answered it himself when he said “William buries the gold under a tree, a golden tree.”

TRIVIA: “Why is the 'd' not capitalized?” Three reasons:
• Gerald wanted some way to identify his story as being his, and since his last name is Davenport, he lowered the case of the 'd' for identity.
• In addition to identifying that it is his story, he also wanted to give the story its own identity; the font, color, and style give a uniqueness to it and a identifiable image. After many years looking at it written like THE GOLdEN TREE (2010), one can make a connection to the story; if it were written like: THE GOLdEN TREE (2010), it does not have that distinct mental image in your mind. And the use of the font would not have been taken advantage of.
• Reason three is relavent to the story, and it is how William Wimmer wrote it in his journal; you will have to find out its significance in the ongoing adventures of THE GOLdEN TREE (2010)s. “Now what is with the lowercase 's'?”


Gerald was involved with searching for his family's history using Reunion from LeisterPro and before his journey with THE GOLdEN TREE (2010) began; it would be a valuable commodity during the writing process. In fact, he learned more about the Wimmer's Family Tree than he knows about the Davenport and Brakensiek Family Tree.

We hope you find use of these links, and there are many more out there to help you with your family search. “What will you find buried in your family tree?


Crew Members

Writer · Director · Producer · Editor

Gerald Martin Davenport


Tamara Maureen Davenport


Sandy Schmidt


Brendan Brooks

Music Composer · Conductor

Danny Gray

Artwork & Props

Aria Leven Davenport
Kyriè Sierra Davenport

Production Sound

Jim Heck

Aria Pictures Presents THE GOLdEN TREE (2010) - a Gerald Martin Davenport film.