January 24, 2018

An abridged history of Nevada City

The most successful and wealthiest mining town in California

Originally a mining camp along the banks of the Deer Creek, Nevada City rapidly became the most successful and wealthiest mining town in California. It went through a number of names including Caldwell’s Upper Store, Coyoteville and Deer Creek Dry Diggings.

At one point it became the third largest city in California with a population of over 10,000, and with its easy wealth problems arose, like claim jumping, brothels, murders and opium dens making its present incarnation seem positively angelic.

As quickly as the wealth came it moved off in search of new claims and during the 1850’s and 60’s, 2 mayor fires spread through the town almost obliterating it and it was these fires that prompted it all to be rebuilt in brick.

One of the first buildings in brick was the Red Castle, a four story Gothic revival mansion, high up on Prospect Hill behind the Stonehouse. It later became a BnB and was rumored to have ghosts. The stories of these ghosts have been immortalized on You Tube.

Nevada City then became surrounded by mines and stamp mills which crushed ore to extract the gold. They operated all day, every day except for one day per year which was the annual Miners Picnic.

A cultural aspect that developed from the mining industry was that the miners tended to live in Grass Valley while the mine owners, managers and professionals lived in Nevada City. This started a rivalry between the two which manifested in various ways including sport contests which typically were held at Lake Olympia which is now the Brunswick basin.

The preservation of Nevada City was ironically the economic downturn that it faced when the gold ran out. Once the mines closed there was no reason to refurbish the old buildings and so the original architecture was preserved and urban renewal was avoided.

Nevada City in 2018 is not quite big enough to support an Office Rental Suite by the hour, but Apex Office Centers exists just down the
hill in Roseville. We also offer a telephone answering service.
Call 916-677-4200


~ by John Tomnay. CEO at Apex Office Centers