1995 Mining History Association Tour

Nevada City, California

June 3-5, 1995

Nevada City, California was the host location for the Mining History Associationís annual conference in 1995.  Along with nearby Grass Valley, California, the two towns were the centers of mining in Nevada County. Starting with the Gold Rush in 1848, gold placer mining advanced from simple gold panning, through sluicing, hydraulic mining, and dredging.  Eventually, underground mining became the enduring method for producing gold.  From 1848 through 1965, the county produced $440,000,000 of gold (estimated by the California Division of Mines and Geology when gold was $35/troy ounce but worth billions at todayís prices).  Nevada City became the County Seat.  In 1985 the entire downtown area was designated a National Historic Landmark.  Its many Victorian buildings retain their Gold Rush character.  Grass Valley became the richest mining town in California because of its large, industrial, hardrock mines which continued to produce gold until 1956.  The tours conducted during this conference provided a close look at how the mining history of the area has evolved over the last century and a half.


PHOTO GALLERY

CLICK ON A PHOTO TO DISPLAY A LARGER IMAGE

The 1995 MHA tours covered the hydraulic mining area preserved in the Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, the small to mid-size underground gold mines in Forest [City] and Allegheny, and the large industrial underground mines in Grass Valley.  (Google Earth image)

The National Hotel, originally the National Exchange Hotel, headquarters for the 1995 MHA Conference, was constructed in 1856.  It is said to be the oldest continuously operated hotel west of the Rockies.

The view north on Broad Street shows many of the Victorian buildings that have been preserved and repurposed.

By removing the modern cars and blacktop from this 2015 photo, it is not difficult to imagine Nevada City in its mining heyday..


(Above) The historic headquarters building (1857-1880) of the South Yuba Canal Water Company which operated ditches and flumes to bring water to the placer miners. It is now the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.

(Right) U. S. Bicentennial and California Historic Landmark plaques.

 

 


Pelton Wheel exhibit in the park opposite the office shown above.  The first wheel was cast in 1879 at the Nevada Iron and Brass Foundry in Nevada City, later called the Miners Foundry.

A closeup view of a bucket on the Pelton Wheel which was driven by two jets of water to power many types of mining equipment.



Firehouse No. 1, built in 1861, was home to the Nevada Hose Company No. 1.  It became a museum in 1947.

This 5-stamp mill exhibited in the park was manufactured at the Risdon Iron Works in San Francisco in 1898.

 

 

Photo Credits: Mike Langenfeld and Mike Kaas

 

CONTINUE THE MHA NEVADA CITY VIRTUAL TOUR

 

CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE NEVADA CITY MEETING PAGE

 


All contents copyright 2011. This is a ZStudios website.