Attractions Gold Country and Nevada city

The Gold Rush, as we know it, began in 1848 with James Marshall's discovery at Sutter's Sawmill. However, gold was discovered by the Indians in 1725 and again in1842. Neither of these earlier occurrences stirred much interest, but James Marshall's discovery forever changed the local area and brought thousands of people to the gold country to realize their dream.

When visiting Nevada County and seeing the horse-drawn carriages and old architecture, it is easy for one's mind to wander to the 1800's and imagine what life was like for the natives of this wonderful city during those exciting and prosperous days. People worked very hard to makes ends meet, just as they do now. However, entertainment was very much appreciated and attendance was very high, providing many of the performances as to the liking of the general populace. Many of the performances were given in the popular saloons at the time, but there were also very good shows given in a more formal and theatre like atmosphere.

Some of the famous entertainers at that time were Emma Nevada, an opera singer; Lola Montez and Lotta Crabtree, famous dancers. All of these entertainers lived in this area and their homes are still standing. They traveled the world to perform but always came home and enjoyed fabulous popularity here. The people of that day enjoyed talents such as these, but were known to throw cabbages and tomatoes at Shakespearean actors.

Imaginarium of Nevada County

112 Nevada City Highway, Nevada City, California 95959.
Exit Ridge Rd. off of highway 49 and turn left on to Nevada City highway.
The Imaginarium of Nevada County is an interactive science center. Modeled after the San Francisco Exploratorium, it is a resource for hands-on science, nature, and technology experiences for local residents and visitors to our community.

The Imaginarium is in the beautifully renovated Armory building. On weekdays, the Imaginarium is available for classroom teachers and students. After school, high school and college students, educators, and mentors are encouraged to use the facility.

On weekends, residents and visitors to the community may experience learning family activity. All visitors to the Imaginarium are greeted by trained docents from the community.

Call 530-478-6400 ext. 231 for information

Nevada City Carriage Company

17790 Cooper Road,
(916) 265-8778...
Carriage rides run everyday during the summer and partial schedules the rest of the year. The carriages arrive and depart from in front of the Buttonworks or the National Hotel. During the evening, they arrive and depart from in front of Friar Tuck's Restaurant. Look for `Carriage for Hire sign to find location for arrivals and departures.

The carriage company uses only registered Percheron Draft horses to pull the carriages in town. Dapple grey and black beauties have been selected for their strength, willingness to work, and docile temperament. In addition to toting carriages, they are used for farming, breeding, and hauling logs out of the forest.

Nevada City Walking Tour

South Yuba Canal Building, Ott's Assay Office
The oldest business buildings in Nevada City. the South Yuba Canal Building (1855), California historical Landmark (CHL), N. 832 was first a drugs store and then offices for the state's largest water system. It now houses the Chamber of Commerce. Ott's (1857) is where James J. Ott assayed ore samples in that led to the famous Comstock Lode silver rush in Nevada.

Firehouse No. 1
One of the most photographed buildings in the Gold Country. The Victorian bell tower and gingerbread trim were added later to this 1861 building which housed Nevada Hose Company No. 1. Now a museum.

The National Hotel
The state's oldest, continuously operating hotel consists of four buildings constructed in 1854 and 1856-57. An excellent representation of the early-day hostelry, the National offers lodging with old-fashioned hospitality.

The Nevada Theatre
This 1865 brick structure is the oldest building in the state erected as a theatre. Today it provides a stage for Northern California's finest performing arts groups, concerts and other activities.

Firehouse No. 2 Built in 1861, this venerable brick firehouse near the top of Broad Street housed one of Nevada City's first volunteer fire companies. It is owned by the city and still used as a firehouse.

Miners Foundry Cultural Center
Now a community center, the foundry, built in 1856, contributed technology for mining, skiing, and other industries. The Pelton Wheel was built here in 1878. Several special events each year and home to non-profit radio KVMR, 89.5 FM.

Nevada City Winery
The Nevada City area is gaining a wide reputation for its excellent wines. The award-winning winery is located in the old tin building at Miners Foundry. Tasting and sales available.

Sargent House
Built in 1856 by civic leader and former U.S. Senator Aaron A. Sargent, this carefully restored and landscaped home is one of the most viewed in town . Now a bed and breakfast inn.

The Gault Bridge
This historic bridge across Deer Creek dates to 1908 and is named after a former mayor. The bridge replaced an 1862 suspension bridge built by Andrew Hallidie, father of San Francisco's cable cars.

Nevada County Courthouse
Nevada County justice has been dispensed here since 1855. The original courthouse burned in 1856, was rebuilt by 1864 and remodeled in 1937. The Courthouse Annex was completed in 1964. See the Butterfly Collection in the main hall.

Gold Panning Tours

Gold Panning Bridgeport: Old Hwy. 20 out of Grass Valley to picturesque Bitney Springs Road, right to Pleasant Valley Road, right to park.
Site includes longest single span covered bridge in existence, ranger station. Gold panning tours available. Hands and pans only.

Town of Washington: East of Nevada City off Hwy. 20.
Pan at local camp grounds, Tahoe National Forest (TNF) Keleher Picnic Area on Yuba River two miles upstream from town, TNF Quartz Picnic Area further up stream.
Information sheets available at TNF, 631 Coyote St., Nevada City, CA 95959; (530) 265-4531.

Additional Information: More serious miners, contact Bureau of Land Management, 63 Natomas St., Folsom, CA 95630; (916) 985-4474.

California State Historical Landmarks
  • #134, Donner Monument, Truckee
  • #247, The World's First Long-Distance Telephone Line, French Corral
  • #292, Home of Lola Montez, Grass Valley
  • #293, Home of Lotta Crabtree, Grass Valley
  • #294, The Little Town of Rough and Ready
  • #297, Site of One of the First Discoveries of Quartz gold in California, Grass Valley
  • #298, Empire Mine, Grass Valley,
  • #390, Bridgeport (Nyes Crossing) Covered Bridge, near French Corral
  • #628, Alpha Hydraulic Diggings, Omega Hydraulic Diggings and Townsite, near Washington
  • #629, Alpha Hydraulic Diggings, Omega Hydraulic Diggings and Townsite neat Washington
  • #799, Overland Emigrant Trail, near Grass Valley
  • #832, South Yuba Canal Office, Nevada City
  • #843, North Star Mine Powerhouse, Grass Valley
  • #852, North Bloomfield Mine and Gravel, near Nevada City
  • #855, Mount Saint Mary's Convent and Academy, Grass Valley
  • #863, Nevada Theatre, Nevada City
  • #899, National Hotel, Nevada City
  • #914, Holbrook Hotel, Grass Valley
  • #1012, First manufacturing Site of the Pelton Water Wheel, Nevada City
  • #780-6, First Transcontinental Railroad -- Truckee
Bridgeport Covered Bridge

Longest Single Span Wood Arch Bridge Built in 1862
Bridgeport is one of only 10 covered bridges remaining in California. The bridge is in very good condition considering its age. Built in 1862, at 251 feet, it is the longest single span covered bridge in the United States.

The type of construction is unique, a Howe truss with an auxiliary Burr arch. The arch is visible from the outside as well as the inside, consisting of two five by fourteen inch timbers bolted together, squeezing between them the members of the truss. This combination, made from local Douglas Fir, and resting on massive granite blocks, endured the weight of a 13 ton tractor without excessive strain.

Today the bridge is rated at 3 tons because of the age of the timber. The unique design seems to have been taken from a plan or design prepared by Theodore Burr for a bridge constructed in 1804, across the Hudson River and patented in 1817.

The Sugar Pine shake roofing and sides not only protect the timber from the weather, but contribute an air of historic antiquity which attracts many visitors to see and photograph it.


Arts & Culture

  • Foothill Theatre Company
    P.O. Box 1812  Nevada City, CA 95959
    Phone: (530) 265-8587  Phone: (888) 730-8587
    A professional theatre company which operates February-December, producing a variety of works including new plays, classics, a Shakespeare festival, contemporary comedy and drama, and an annual family-friendly holiday production.
  • Music in the Mountains
    530 Searls Ave.  Nevada City, CA 95959
    Phone: (530) 265-6124  Fax: (530) 265-6810
    Music in the Mountains brings classical entertainment to Nevada County with their four concert series and festivals each year. Jazz, Broadway, and Pops concerts are also featured. Benefit events include the Sierra Brew fest, Designs for Living Home Tour, A Taste of the Foothills Celebration, and the Swing Along Golf Tournament.
  • Nevada County Concert Band
    P.O. Box 1444 Nevada City, CA 95959 Phone: (530) 477-4787
    This community band is free to members, and performs regularly at three summer "Pioneer Park Pops" concerts, and at the independence day parade, Nevada County Fair, Constitution Day Parade, as well as indoor events such as the Winter Concert and the spring's Classic Concert.
  • Nevada Theatre Commission
    401 Broad Street Nevada City.  P.O. B1066 Nevada City, CA 95959
    Phone: (530) 265-6161 Fax: (530) 265-2294
    Maintains and operates the historical Nevada Theatre, located at 
  • Off Broad Street
    12816 Butterfly Dr.  Nevada City, CA 95959
    Phone: (530) 265-8686
  • The Movement Alliance
    We are a non-profit modern/contemporary dance company. 277-2046
  • Gold Country Piano Institute Non-profit dedicated to instruction in classical piano music for students of all levels.

Community- Local Clubs and Organizations

Nevada County Churches

Christian Life Center Hwy 49 at Bethel Way, Grass Valley, CA 95949; 273-8475.
Grass Valley Assembly
12582 Squirrel Creek Rd., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 273-1497. BAPTIST
Bible Believers Baptist 13005 Rough & Ready Rd., Rough & Ready, CA 95975; 272-6210.
Cedar Ridge Baptist  11412 Brunswick Dr., Cedar Ridge, CA 95924; 273-7857.
First Baptist  1866 Ridge Rd., Grass Valley, CA; 273-7301.
First Baptist American : 300 Main St., Nevada City, CA 95959; 265-4711.
First Missionary Baptist   11962 McCourtney Rd., Grass Valley, CA95945; 274-1900.
New Covenant Baptist 10821 Squirrel Creek Rd., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 274-8516 CATHOLIC-ROMAN
St. Canice 317 Washington St., Nevada City, CA 95959; 265-2049.
St. John's North San Juan, CA  292-3227.
St. Patrick's 235 Chapel St., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 273-2347. CHRISTIAN SCIENCE
Christian Science Church & Reading Room: 407 W. Main St., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 273-9452. CHURCH OF CHRIST
Bubbling Wells Road
10600 Bubbling Wells Rd., Grass Valley , CA 95945 ; 477-5409
Church Of Christ 670 Whiting St., Grass Valley , CA 95945; 273-0401.
Church Of Christ 119 Florence Ave., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 273-8573. THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTERDAY SAINTS
Grass Valley Ward, Nevada City Ward, Penn Valley Ward: 13615 Hollow Way, Nevada City, CA 95959; 265-4554.
Camptonville Branch: 14670, Marysville Rd., Camptonville, CA 95922; 288-3538. EPISCOPAL
Emmanuel Episcopal
235 So. Church St., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 273-7876.
Trinity Episcopal Church 201 Nevada St., Nevada City, CA 95959; 265-8836.  FOURSQUARE GOSPEL
Foothill Country
14600 State Hwy 49, Grass Valley, CA, 95945; 272-8511.
Valley Country 11665 Spenceville Rd., Penn Valley, CA 95946; 432-1964. INDEPENDENT
Abundant Life Community
 10795 Alta St., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 273-1139.
Ananda Self-Realization Tyler Foote Crossing Rd.,North San Juan, CA 95960; 292--3279.
Ananda Self-Realization 135 Argall Way, Nevada City, CA 95959; 265-6933.
Baha'i Faith P.O. Box 213, Rough & Ready, CA 95975; 477-7017.
Calvary Bible 11481 State Hwy 174, Grass Valley, CA 95945; 273-1343.
Calvary Chapel 10050 Wolf Rd., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 268-2539.
Christian Church 135 Winchester St., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 273-9340. Church on the Rock 680 Brighton Ave., Grass Valley, CA95945; 272-5507.
Combie Bible 22924 W. Hacienda Dr., Grass Valley, CA 95949; 268-0309. Gospel Life Worship Center : 10150 Olympia Park Rd., Grass Valley, CA 95945.
Lighthouse Calvary Chapel 14685 Pleasant Valley Dr., Penn Valley, CA 95946; 432-9335.
Mission Beth'El The You Bet-Red Dog Community Church: 20641 Red Dog Rd., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 272-7908.
New Life Fellowship 714 W. Main St., Grass Valley , CA 95945; 272-1362.
Nevada City Christian Fellowship 12262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley , CA 95945; 274-7662.
Penn Valley Community Spenceville Rd., P.O. Box 360, Penn Valley, CA 95946; 432-1161.
Twin Cities Community 154 Hughes Rd., Ste. 9, Grass Valley, CA 95945; 273-6425 JUDAISM
Nevada County Jewish Center: 506 Walsh St., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 268-8101.
Jehovah's Witnesses: 12524 Burma Rd., Grass Valley , CA 95945; 273-1918.
Jehovah's Witnesses: 12860 La Barr Meadows Rd., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 272-7609. LUTHERAN
Grace Lutheran
1979 Ridge Rd., G V, CA 95945; 273-7043.
Peace Lutheran Church : 828 W. Main At., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 273-9631.
Shepherd of the Hills 11311 Goodridge Way, CA 95945; 272-4147. METHODIST
Grass Valley United Methodist 236 So. Church St., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 272-1946.
Nevada City United Methodist   433 Broad St., Nevada City, CA 95959; 265-2797. NAZARENE
Church of the Nazarene 10220 Hughes Rd., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 273-9128. PENTECOSTAL
United Pentecostal Church: 1784 Ridge Rd., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 272-6455. PRESBYTERIAN
Sierra Presbyterian Church: 175 Ridge Rd., Nevada City, CA 95959; 265-3291. QUAKER
Society of Friends: John Woolman School, Jones Bar Rd., Nevada City, CA 95959; 265-3164. RELIGIOUS SCIENCE
Sierra Science of Mind Church: P.O. Box 1439, Nevada City, CA 95959; 274-1018. SALVATION ARMY
The Salvation Army Corps Center: 10725 Alta St., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 274-3500. SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST
Penn Valley Seventh Day Adventist Church: 17645 Penn Valley Dr., Penn Valley, CA 95946; 432-2479.
Grass Valley Seventh Day Adventist Church: 12889 Osborn Hill Rd., Grass Valley, CA 95945; 477-5017. UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST
Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mtns: 246 South Church St, Grass Valley. 274-1675.
Unity Church in the Gold Country Crown Point Circle; 265-6745.








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