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Destination Nevada County

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

Celebrating a Legacy of

Celebrating a Legacy of Art & Culture By Steve Cottrell Nevada County Historian From the beginning, Nevada City attracted headline entertainers on tours through the American West. Edwin Booth appeared in Nevada City in 1852, followed by pianist Louis Gottschalk, humorist Mark Twain, General Tom Thumb and wife, violinist Camilla Urso, illusionist Harry Keller, dancer Loie Fuller, and a host of others entertainers who were big-city headliners making a side trip to the Gold Country. More recently, Hollywood has become a frequent visitor. Five movies have been shot in Nevada City, along with episodic television shows and several television commercials. The town’s architecture, setting, and hospitality have attracted film companies for decades, including the Hallmark Channel, who filmed Joany Kane’s screenplay “The Christmas Card” in and around Nevada City in early 2006. When it aired that December, it became the highest-rated movie in the network’s history and continues to be broadcast each holiday season. Fictional movies typically use a generic town name for its setting –– like Centerville, Fairview, etc. But Hallmark decided to call the town what is: Nevada City. And when the movie aired for the first time, the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce was flooded with hundreds of requests from all over the nation asking for more information, visitor packets, and even relocation packets. There are merchants along Broad Street and Commercial Street today who first learned about Nevada City from watching that movie, and hundreds of people still walk through town each year spotting locations where various scenes were shot –– a priceless promotional bonanza for the community. Because of its beauty and cultural amenities, Nevada City often finds itself on various lists of best small towns in America, including #12 on Budget Travel’s 2014 list of Coolest Small Towns. In 2017, Nevada City was ranked #1 on Sunset magazine’s list of Best Value Towns in the West. Between Sunset’s print edition and digital presence, more than 6,000,000 people read about Nevada City’s cultural scene, excellent schools, cost of living, incredible restaurants, and, of course, its amazing performing and visual arts. In fact, the arts are such an important part of community life that in 1983 the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce began recognizing both the performing and visual arts with two annual awards at the Chamber’s yearly awards dinner. To date, over 70 men, women, and organizations have been recognized for their contribution to the arts and, by extension, to the local economy. Screenwriter Joany Kane had never even heard of Nevada City when she wrote the screenplay for “The Christmas Card.” The story was originally set in a mill town in Vermont. Budget constraints led the production team to look for sites in California, and one of the producers, Lincoln Lageson, suggested Nevada City. He was familiar with the town because his parents grew up in Nevada City. 112 DESTINATION Nevada County

Kodo Arts Japanese Antiques SHOW & SALE Spring Show: May 5 - 13, 2018 Fall Show: Sept. 29 - Oct. 7, 2018 Open to the public twice a year 10 AM - 6 PM DAILY KODO ARTS WAREHOUSE 571 Searls Ave., Nevada City, CA 95959 530-478-0812 Furniture • Home Decor • Art • Garden • Textiles delight YOUR SENSES @STONEHOUSENEVADACITY Fine Dining • Event & Wedding Venue SH NEVADA CITY’S ULTIMATE DINING & ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE 107 Sacramento St., Nevada City, CA 95959 (530) 265-5050 • DESTINATION Nevada County 113