Historical Markers in
Nevada County, California

400 Broad Street A Family Heads West Alpha and Omega Alvin Stevens Trivelpiece American Hill Diggings Anthony House and Ranch Binkelmann Brewery Boca Townsite Bridgeport (Nyes Crossing) Covered Bridge Bridgeport Bridge Bridgeport Bridge Bridgeport Historic District Brimskill Building C.P.R.R. Truckee Round House Cal Lodge Central Sierra Snow Lab Charles Marsh House Charlie Chaplin’s Gold Rush Chief Truckee China Wall China Wall of the Sierra Chinatown, Grass Valley Clair Tappaan Lodge Clinton Narrow Gauge Railroad Columbiad Cannon – 1850 Discovery of Gold at Gold Hill Donner Camp Site Donner Camp Tree Donner Lake West End Donner Party Donner Party Donner Party Camp at Alder Creek Valley / Tamsen and Elizabeth Donner Donner Pass Donner Pass Airway Station & Beacon Donner Ski Ranch Donner Summit Bridge Donner Summit Canyon History Donner Summit Lodge Donner Summit Overlook Dutch Flat Donner Lake Wagon Road Edward Coleman House Emigrant Trail to Nevada City Empire House English and New Salmon Mine Stamp Mill Fippin's Blacksmith Shop First Brick Building First Log Cabin First Permanent Emigrant Trail Markers First Wagons Across the Sierras Five Stamp Mill Floriston George Schaffer George Schaffer House Giant Graniteville Grass Valley Hardware Grass Valley Library Great Summit Tunnel of the Sierra Nevada Historic Emmanuel Episcopal Church Hobart Mills Holbrooke Hotel Humbug Creek Hutchinson Lodge Hydraulic Gold Mining 21-Inch Gate Valve Hydraulic Mining Ice Lakes Indian Grinding Rock Jacob Van Blaren Jax Truckee Diner Julius Albert Apperson Kidd & Knox Building Kohler Building Ladies of the Evening Lake Van Norden Dam Lola Montez 1819 - 1861 Loutzenheiser Pharmacy Building Lyman Gilmore, Jr. Madison Lodge No. 23 F. & A.M. Malakoff Diggins Clampicnic Area Masonry in the Gold County McGlashan Point Meadow Lake – Excelsior Miners Foundry – Allans Machine Shop Mooney Flat Hotel Mount Saint Mary's Convent and Academy Mt. Judah N. C. N. G. R. R. N.C.N.G.R.R. National Exchange Hotel Nevada City Methodist Church Nevada City Public Library Nevada City Road - Leaving Washington Ridge Nevada City Road - No Water on Washington Ridge Nevada City Road - Opposite Washington Diggings Nevada City Road - Washington Ridge Summit Nevada City, The “Queen City of the Northern Mines“ Nevada County Court House Nevada County Traction Co. Nevada County Traction Company Nevada County War & Veterans Memorial Nevada Hose Co. No. 1 Nevada Theater Norden Station North Bloomfield Drain Tunnel North Bloomfield Mining and Gravel Company North Bloomfield School North Pine & Commercial North San Juan Fire Department North San Juan United Methodist Church North Star Mine Powerhouse Old Bear River Bridge Old Brick Gothic Building Old North San Juan School Old Truckee Jail Old Wells Fargo Building Ormonde Overland Emigrant Trail Pelton Water Wheel Pelton Wheel Manufacturing Site Pennsylvania Engine Co. No. 2 Petroglyphs Pine Street Bridge Pioneer Cemetery Pioneer Emigrant Trail Pollard's Station Powell Home Purdon Bridge Railroad and Transportation Museum Rainbow Bridge Reliance Hose Company No. 3 Republic of Rough and Ready Robinson Plaza Rocking Stone Rough and Ready Rough and Ready Toll House Rowe Saw Mill Royal Gorge History Sacred Symbols From Ancient Times Saint Canice Catholic Church Schallenberger Cabin Site Searls Law Office Shaft Drill Core Shelter From the Storm Sheriff David Fulton Douglass Shoot (Chute) Hill Sierra Mountain Cemetery Site of Lake City Site of the Original Ott Assay Office Smartsville Grocery Smartville / Smartsville Snowshoe Thompson Soda Springs Hotel Soda Springs Store South Yuba Canal Office St. Columncille's Church St. Patrick’s Cemetery Stephens – Townsend – Murphy Party of 1844 Sucker Flat Sugar Bowl Sugar Bowl Academy Summit City / Meadow Lake Summit Hotel Summit Valley Summit Valley Native American Mortars Summit Valley Sheep Pens Surviving the Snowy Trek Out Ten Stamp Mill The Alpha Building The China Wall The Emigrant Trail The Emigrant Trail The Fight to Stay Alive The First Long Distance Telephone The First Woman's Christian Temperance Union The Flagg Building The Gateway Cabin The History of This Area The Holbrooke Hotel The Lodge at Sugar Bowl The Magic Carpet The Monitor The National Hotel The Nightmare Begins The Old Post Office The Snowsheds The Transcontinental Railroad and Boca Dam The Yuba River Bridge at Parks Bar Theodore Dehone Judah Three Stamp Mill from the Red Ledge Mine Toll Road Stake Transcontinental Railroad Tri Lodges Trinity Episcopal Church Truckee Truckee Truckee Trail - All Hills and Ravines Truckee Trail - Among the Foothills Truckee Trail - Approaching Sacramento Valley Truckee Trail - Ascent to Lake and Valley Truckee Trail - Forks Right & Left Truckee Trail - Last of the Foothills Truckee’s Old Stone Garage and Site of Town’s First Dwelling Tunnel 6 Union Hill School Washington Washington Washington Brewery Washington Elementary School Wells Fargo & Company / North San Juan - 1853 Western America Skisport Museum Westward Ho! What Made Her Do It? William Morris Stewart Mansion Williams Stationery Store World War I Memorial / Victory Highway Monument “The Old Brewery“ “The Tin Can” -- “Dot's Place”
The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought a huge influx of people to the state. In just two years, the population of San Francisco grew from 1,000 to 25,000. However, only a small percentage of gold-seekers actually struck it rich, and many ended up in debt or poverty.
Nevada County, California, located in the Sierra Nevada region, has a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. The region was inhabited by Native American tribes before the arrival of European settlers. In 1848, gold was discovered in nearby Coloma, setting off the famous California Gold Rush. As news of the gold spread, it led to a massive influx of fortune-seekers to the area, including Nevada County.

The county was officially established on April 25, 1851, carved out of parts of neighboring counties. It was named after the Sierra Nevada Mountains and became known for its abundant gold reserves. The mining industry boomed during the mid-19th century, attracting thousands of miners from all over the world. Towns such as Nevada City, Grass Valley, and Rough and Ready became important mining centers, with bustling businesses, saloons, and banks catering to the mining community.

As the gold rush declined in the late 19th century, Nevada County experienced a shift in its economic focus. The discovery of large quartz veins in the area led to the development of deep underground mines, extracting gold and other minerals. The region also became known for its timber industry, with extensive logging operations and sawmills. These industries helped sustain Nevada County's economy throughout the 20th century, even as mining declined.

Today, Nevada County is a vibrant community known for its rich history and natural beauty. The towns of Nevada City and Grass Valley still retain their historic charm, with well-preserved downtown areas and Victorian-era architecture. The county has also developed a thriving arts and cultural scene, with galleries, theaters, and annual events such as the Nevada City Film Festival and the California WorldFest.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Nevada County, California.

  • 1848: Gold is discovered in California, leading to the California Gold Rush and attracting miners to the area that would later become Nevada County.
  • 1851: Nevada County is established as one of the original 27 counties of California.
  • 1855: Grass Valley becomes the county seat of Nevada County.
  • 1864: The Central Pacific Railroad, part of the First Transcontinental Railroad, is completed in Nevada County.
  • 1884: The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad is established, connecting Grass Valley to Colfax.
  • 1900: California produces more than 30% of the world's gold, much of it coming from Nevada County.
  • 1908: The Malakoff Diggins hydraulic gold mine, located in Nevada County, becomes the largest hydraulic mine in California.
  • 1933: The Empire Mine in Nevada County is the last hardrock gold mine to close in California.
  • 1978: The Nevada County Fairgrounds, home to the annual Nevada County Fair, is established in Grass Valley.
  • 2001: Nevada City, the county seat of Nevada County, receives the designation of being a California Historical Landmark.