Nevada County Historical Society

HISTORICAL NEVADA CITY AND GRASS Valley are the backdrop for the California Preservation Foundation’s annual conference on May 12-15, titled “The Sierra Nevada: Preserving a Sense of Place.” Nowhere is the region’s history better preserved than at the 66-year-old Nevada County Historical Society and its museums, a “must see” for visitors:

Historic Firehouse No. 1 Museum

The firehouse was donated to the Historical Society in 1947 to house its museum. With its Victorian gingerbread front, it is probably the most photographed building in Nevada City.

Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum

Artifacts from the narrow gauge railroad era, including Engine 5, an 1875 Baldwin that hauled passengers and freight.

The rail-yard houses a collection of wooden cars and a real steam-powered engine. It is one of the few recent projects of its kind. Northstar Mining Museum Exhibits of hundreds of goldmining artifacts, including a working stamp mill, Cornish pump, and the largest Pelton wheel ever constructed. The guides are well versed in mining lore. The museum also a good picnic spot.

Searls Historical Library

Established in 1973, the Searls has become one of the premier libraries of materials on the area’s history. It includes more than 10,000 historical photographs, nearly 3,000 printed books on early California and Gold Rush history and almost 1,000 area maps.

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