Grass Valley

  • A Karen Brown Recommendation

Grass Valley has a booming economy and sprawls far beyond its historic boundary. Its old downtown buildings housing everyday stores attest to its prosperity. Save town explorations for adjacent Nevada City and concentrate on Grass Valley’s Empire Mine State Park at the southern end of town. This hard-rock mine is the oldest and richest in California. From startup in 1850 to closure in 1956, an estimated 5,800,000 ounces of gold were extracted. Wander through the yard to see the historic buildings (excellent displays) and take a peek down the mainshaft. Tours are given through the opulent Empire Cottage where you see how William Bourne, the wealthy mine owner, lived when on vacation or visiting his mine interests. (530-273-8522)

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