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Destination Nevada County

Premium visitors magazine for Nevada County produced by the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce

Cornerstone REALTORS

Cornerstone REALTORS HOMES TO “DI” FOR Nevada City │ Grass Valley │ Penn Valley │ Lake Wildwood Lake of the Pines │ or any of the Sierra Foothill Communities DIANE “DI” HELMS 530.913.8598 DI4LAND@SIERRAGOLDRE.COM CALBRE #00713462 101 BOULDER STEET, NEVADA CITY, CA 95959 530.271.1669 106 DESTINATION OFFICE Nevada County

Nevada City Beautifully Preserved Gold Rush Town By Steve Cottrell Former Nevada City Mayor History books tell us that carpenter/ millwright James Marshall discovered gold in California on January 24, 1848, and that the nuggets he found at Sutter’s Mill on the American River served as the impetus for the Gold Rush. What you may not know, however, is that in April 1870, when Marshall appeared at the Nevada Theatre to talk about his role on that historic day at Coloma, he told his Nevada City audience that in the summer of 1848 he led a party of argonauts from Sacramento into the foothills and camped for a couple of days at what is now the confluence of Little Deer Creek and Deer Creek—where the Stone House and Lefty’s stand today. Marshall said he found “some color,” but decided to move down Deer Creek to the valley. He did not tell the 1870 audience how he and his party fared after leaving what became Nevada City, but we do know that within two years of Marshall’s visit, Deer Creek became the richest gold-bearing waterway in the state. Naturally, saloons and gambling halls were quickly built and, as indicated by a plaque at the top of National Alley, adjacent to the National Hotel, ladies of the evening “made an essential contribution to the settlement of the West.” In the spring of 1851, when Nevada County was created out of a portion of Yuba County and Nevada City named the county seat, the town became a political hub with more attorneys doing business then than now. Eight future United States senators called Nevada City home in the 19th century, as did a half dozen future members of the California State Supreme Court—three of whom became Chief Justice. Two of the future senators—William Stewart serving from Nevada and Aaron Sargent from California—introduced what became the 15th and 19th amendments to the Constitution of the United States. What began as a rugged mining camp of 400 men in the summer of 1849, soon became a thriving, cosmopolitan town of 6,000 with families, churches, and schools. Clearly, Nevada City was not a boom town; it was built by men and women who believed in its future. DESTINATION Nevada County 107