South Pine Cafe Art Show Virtualized and Extended

The Multimedia Story Show at the South Pine Cafe in Grass Valley was installed on March 4th. On March 19th, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued the stay-at-home order. The physical show will remain at the Cafe through the end of May. Until then, the show’s been virtualized! Click on the thumbnail below to print out a PDF with Google Lens …

2019 Nevada County Holiday Giving-Guide with a Land Stewardship Focus

Support organizations that preserve, protect, clean, heal, and educate about our local habitats. Buy a holiday gift, spend outdoor quality time with family and friends and keep Nevada County healthy. Visit the websites of the organizations below to; make a gift for operating expenses in someone’s name buy film festival tickets attend lectures take family and friends hiking volunteer to …

Jennie Carter’s Thoughts & Words from Nevada City 1867-1874 [video]

Jennie Carter was an articulate social critic who wrote from her home in Nevada City during the mid-1860s through the 1870s. Excerpts from Jennie Carter’s essays are dramatized in the following historical video short.     If you enjoyed this post check out; Jennie Carter’s Nevada County Setting 1860s, 2nd Marriage & ObituaryJennie Carter’s Pre-Civil War, Civil War & Reconstruction-era …

Jennie Carter’s Nevada County Setting 1860s, 2nd Marriage & Obituary

Jennie and her first husband, Mr. Correll (a Campbellite minister), moved from New Orleans to Grass Valley around 1860. While Jennie was living in Nevada County, newspaper advertisements promoted rubber clothing the Glenbrook Race Track ice dealers fireproof bricks Grass Valley’s installation of sewer lines Alonzo Delano was selling fire and life insurance, and A.A. Sargent promoted his law practice …

Jennie Carter Book Review

Jennie Carter was a free black woman who moved from New Orleans to Grass Valley around 1860. Between 1867 to 1874 she wrote essays, from her Nevada City home, that were published in The Elevator, a San Francisco black newspaper. When Carter first began writing for The Elevator, her intention was to publish material for young readers. “Children, you hear …

Jennie Carter’s Pre-Civil War, Civil War & Reconstruction-era 1846-1870

Jennie Carter was an esteemed Nevada City essayist who wrote and published articles in a San Francisco newspaper between 1867-1874. She was a free black woman born in 1830 (or 1831).  *Free people of color first arrived on the North American continent in the French territories and with the Spanish and Portuguese. They were highly educated and successful in business. To …

Jennie Carter – Filming Behind-the-Scenes & Creative Partners

While reading Eric Gardner’s book—Jennie Carter: A Black Journalist of the Early West—in the spring of 2019, Deer Creek Project Coordinator, Lisa Redfern day-dreamed about highlighting Jennie Carter in a historical video. Upon reaching Carter’s temperance segment (page 25, 1868) describing drinking water out of Deer Creek, Redfern found the connection she needed to go-for-it. Video production took the entire …

Two Murders on Deer Creek – 1944

This is a story of murder and assumptions. The first murder happened in October of 1944, when a young WWII veteran was shot in woods near the north fork of Deer Creek. The finger of guilt pointed squarely at the local scapegoat, an oddball mountain man.  Murders on Deer Creek Two months after his homecoming from World War II, 24-year-old …

Deer Creek Water Origins

  Before we ever see water in Deer Creek, most of it has rained, snowed, and been stored in NID’s Mountain Division and PG&E Lakes. It’s moved from lake to lake, going through multiple powerhouses, generating electricity. It enters Scotts Flat Lake where swimmers, motor boaters, and fisherman enjoy it. Flowing into Lower Scotts Flat Reservoir, human or wind-powered boaters …

North American Beaver – Water Banker

History In 1805, Lewis and Clark saw beaver dams “extending as far up those streams as [we] could discover them.” Even before the famous explorers, French trappers and traders were drawn to the land teeming with beaver. The beaver is North America’s largest rodent. Its pelt is waterproof and has a double layer of insulation making it highly desirable for human …

Alonzo Delano – Grass Valley Champion & Gold Rush Correspondent

At age 43, after being sick with consumption, Alonzo Delano left his home and loved ones to join the mass of gold-seeking emigrants making the overland journey to California (1849). In Illinois, he sold bank stocks and commodities and lived with his wife and two children; Fred an invalid son of 16 and Harriet, a six-year-old daughter.  After surviving the …

Ghost Pine – Produces Nuts in Harsh Growing Conditions

Pinus Sabiniana is native to California and Oregon and has a variety of names. Habitat Its habitat forms a ring around California’s ‘bathtub’ (central valley). It grows in poor soils, is adapted to hot, dry summers and usually keeps company with Blue and Live Oaks. Common Names & Naming History Common names include; Ghost Pine Gray Pine California Foothill Pine …

Gold Rush Stories – Book Review

“History, warts and all,” is the essence of what Gary Noy delivers. Noy’s meticulous research, ferreting through dusty archive boxes for photos and first-person accounts, makes his gritty, sometimes enormously disturbing, and often entertaining Gold Rush story vignettes radiate with life. In the lawless immigrant melting pot of California dreams, “accidents, disease, murder, natural disasters, [and] mob violence, … took …

1852 Flood Destroys Jenny Lind Theater

First published June 1, 2018 From the time the Gold Rushers arrived, entertainment became a part of life in the mining town. 1851: Summer “A theatre was erected by C. Lovell and others over Deer Creek, on the lower line of Main Street.” – Nevada, Grass Valley and Rough and Ready Citizens Directory 1856, A. A. Sargent March 1852 “The storm changed …

Timbuctoo – Hydraulic Mining & First Land Use Limit Law

First published on April 30, 2018 Though Timbuctoo and Smartsville are in Yuba County, we are including them in our creek history because water from the Yuba River and Deer Creek watersheds flowed through them causing one of the first land use limit laws to be written in the country.   In the 1850s, Timbuctoo and Smartsville were centers of …

Anthony House Aflame & Under Lake Wildwood

First published July 25, 2018 Before the white man came, the Anthony House / Rose Corral area of Penn Valley was home to Nisenan Headman Pamelo. The village, Cocosa, was once a vibrant trading site.   “The very earliest settlement of which we can obtain a trace in the territory now known as Nevada County, was in the summer of 1848, …

Freeway Debates & Historic Preservation 1950’s – 1970’s

First published August 11, 2018 Once the minerals were exhausted, many hastily built mining towns were abandoned. Grass Valley and Nevada City persisted after the Gold Rush because San Francisco investors gambled on hard rock mining, water rights, and power generation. Large cattle ranches had become established. Lumber mills continued to operate, supplying timber for the railroad (mid-1860’s through 1870’s).  …

California Oaks – Foundation Habitat Species

First published May 29, 2017 The Oak Woodland Forest ecosystem is prevalent in California. It contains both evergreen (live oaks) and deciduous types of oak trees. Oaks are considered foundation species because of their role in the web of life. Identifying California Oak Trees Acorns – One of the Most Important Protein Sources for Native Americans History: Native American Food Processing   …

Scurvy in California’s Food Capital

First published June 9, 2018 Well before the Gold Rush (by the 1750’s) it was known that eating citrus fruit prevented scurvy scur·vy | ˈskərvē/ | noun – a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, characterized by swollen bleeding gums and the opening of previously healed wounds, which particularly affected poorly nourished sailors until the end of the 18th century. “Yet …

Mining Pollution Legacy and Clean-Up

First published May 21, 2017 In the mid-1850’s hydraulic mining filled the stream channels and muddied the waters all the way down to the Pacific Ocean. Mercury was used in sluice boxes to amalgamate gold. “It is estimated that ten million pounds of mercury were lost into the streams,” comments Kyle Leach, Geologist for Sierra Streams Institute. “The tale of the Gold Rush …