2 weeks ago

Destination Nevada County

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

Love Affair with a Lake

Love Affair with a Lake A Tradition of Gathering By Robin Galvan-Davies CEO Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce I was intrigued to learn that a family from Northern California had been making the journey to Scotts Flat Lake for half a century, so when the invitation was extended to visit their campsite at Scotts Flat Lake, I accepted without hesitation. I always wondered how Scotts Flat Lake got its name, so I reached out to Dave Carter, former public relations consultant for NID, who is writing a book about NID’s history. He told me that the “popular understanding” is this: Scotts Flat Lake got its name from the Scottish Miners who favored mining the Large Flat in that area. I found corroborating information posted on the Gold County Yacht Club (who make Scotts Flat Lake their home) website. Here are excerpts from their History of Scotts Flat Lake. “The California Gold Rush of 1849 lured many immigrants to Nevada County with dreams of finding wealth. Camps sprang up along Deer Creek where the gravel bed was rich with gold. Communities grew rapidly with brush houses and log cabins replacing the tents. A group of Scottish immigrants, bound by a common language, settled in a flat valley about six miles upstream from Nevada City in the area now known as Scotts Flat. Technology would soon take a huge leap that would change life forever in Scotts Flat. Hydraulic mining, using jets of high-pressure water to wash away gravel and boulders, was developed in Nevada City in 1853. Amos Laird, having become the largest hydraulic miner of the area, and wanting to save money purchasing water from the water companies, began building a dam in Scotch Flat (note different spelling) in 1856. This would mark the end of the Scottish mining camp. NID built the first dam at Scotts Flat in 1928. It’s now known as Lower Scotts Flat Diversion Dam and provides water to the D-S Canal. A Scott’s Flat Trail Scott’s Flat Lake 150 DESTINATION Nevada County

second dam was built a bit upstream in 1948 and enlarged to its current size in 1964.” The recreation area began development in 1965, and has become one of the two premier NID recreation areas in western Nevada County. Driving through the campground, I was impressed with the splendor of the lush forest and arriving at the Lake, to see the Kaz Family Camp, laid out under the shade of massive pine trees with an equally massive table running down the center of their double site. I was warmly greeted and invited to join them. Family patriarch, Joe Kaz, eyed my white pants, rolled his eyes and said, “You certainly didn’t dress for camping!” He made a bee line to the towel supply, pulled one out and covered the picnic table bench in an effort to separate my white pants from the ever present dust of the campground. Taking a seat, I was surrounded by family all happy to share stories about their adventures at Scotts Flat Lake. I asked Joe and Kathleen, “Mama Kaz” how the half century ritual began, and they both laughed! 1967 First generation boat, truck and kids! Mama Kaz says that it was one of serendipity. One Sunday morning “way back when” they sat reading the SF Chronicle in their home in Redwood City. Joe saw a “teeny” ad for lake front acreage. Intrigued, they decided to make the journey to Nevada County to check out the home sites on the shores of Scotts Flat Lake. DESTINATION Nevada County 151