Nevada City Things to Do

  • Both bridges in the picture
    Both bridges in the picture
    by BruceDunning
  • Long Ragne view of bridge
    Long Ragne view of bridge
    by BruceDunning
  • Boulders in the river
    Boulders in the river
    by BruceDunning

Most Recent Things to Do in Nevada City

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    Firehouse No 1 Museum: Displays

    by JulieJueletha Updated Jan 21, 2014

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    Household Goods: Antique Bottle Display
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    On display you will find common items used by residents over the past 150 years. The most interesting display to me was the display of bottles of all shapes and colors that were unearthed in this area especially near the creek.There are also firearms, collections of tools of various trades, kitchen and household items and a collection of children's items, including a miniature doll house.

    A collection of relics from the ill-fated Donner Party is housed here comprised of small artifacts found at the Breen and the Graves cabins collected by C.F. McGlashan.

    A collection of firearms from the time period is found here.

    There is also a display of 19th century clothing which includes the satin gown worn by Suffragette advocate Mrs. Aaron A. Sargent at the court of Kaiser Wilhelm in 1870. Senator Sargent from Nevada City wrote the 14th amendment giving women the right to vote.

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    Firehouse No. 1 Museum

    by JulieJueletha Updated Jan 21, 2014

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    Nevada City Firehouse No. 1 Museum
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    This beautiful firehouse was completed in the Spring of 1861 and was home to Nevada Hose Company No.1 from 1861 to 1938. Horse-drawn fire wagons and handcarts barreled out of it's doors for almost 50 years, with the bell in the firehouse steeple clanging out the news that there was a fire about. After the turn of the century motorized fire engines rolled out the doors for another 30 years. In 1947 it became a museum when the Nevada City City Council donated the use of the building to the Nevada County Historical Society.

    The original building was brick and a very simple block style with a tall bell tower. Early after the turn of the twentieth century, the facade was covered with the white Victorian gingerbread front that we see today. Coming up the slight rise in the street to the firehouse, visitors and locals alike are struck by the beauty of the white gingerbread building against the blue Northern California sky. Because of it's beauty and the dramatic photographic shots taken of it, bright white against the blue sky, the firehouse has become a symbol of Nevada City and is probably the most photographed building in Nevada City.

    On display in the museum are common items used in households and by the local inhabitants over the past 150 years; collections of tools of various trades, kitchen tools and household linens and other items and a collection of handmade toys, including a miniature doll house, relics from the ill-fated Donner Party, period firearms, and a display of Chinese artifacts are all found here.

    There is also a display of 19th century clothing which includes the satin gown worn by Suffragette advocate Mrs. Aaron A. Sargent at the court of Kaiser Wilhelm in 1870. Senator Sargent from Nevada City wrote the 14th amendment giving women the right to vote.

    The Nisenan Indians are the native Indians of Nevada County and are are well represented at the museum as well..

    Not a large space, easy to get around, and very interesting.

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    Nevada City Firehouse No.1: Nisenan Indian Display

    by JulieJueletha Updated Dec 13, 2013

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    Nisenan Basketry
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    The Nisenan Indians are the native Indians of Nevada County, having made their homes in the foothills of Nevada County for thousands of years, long before the arrival of European settlers. While the Nevada City Rancheria (reservation) no longer exists, the Nisenan people still live here. Written documentation of the Tribe and its federally recognized Rancheria begins in 1852 and continues into the present.

    The tribe continues to be active in the community as they have for the past 200 years. They are well represented at the museum.

    The name Nisenan, derives from the plural pronoun nisena·n, "from among us". A few Nisenan people speak some of the Nisenan dialects. Some Nisenan people today are enrolled in the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, a federally recognized tribe. The Nisenan, also known as the Southern Maidu and Valley Maidu, are one of many native groups of the Central CA Valley.

    The Museum houses a Nisenan Basketry collection dating to before 1900.

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    Firehouse No 1 Museum: Chinese Altar Display

    by JulieJueletha Written Dec 13, 2013

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    Chinese altar display

    The museum houses the altar and other artifacts from the Hou Wang Temple and the Kuan Yin Temple, which were located in Grass Valley from 1877 to 1938.There are also many items from Chinese daily life, from school books used in the Chinese language schools, to opium pipes, tools, cooking utensils, clothing and everyday items.

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    Nevada City's Victorian Christmas

    by JulieJueletha Updated Dec 12, 2013

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    Nevada City Christmas Lights
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    Nevada City, in the gold rush country of Northern California is home to Victorian Christmas three Wednesday evenings and two Sunday afternoons in December and features holiday activities for all ages. Whether you bundle up and take a horse drawn carriage ride in the snow, listen to the street carolers or see one of the many live entertainments, the feel of Christmas gone-by will reappear and overtake you in the most delightful way! Booths line Broad street with a variety of unique items, many handmade, that would make delightful Christmas gifts! Or get some homemade cookies or fudge, a hot pasty (meat and potato turnover) or a delicious brew to satisfy your holiday appetite! But don't miss the appearance of Father Christmas himself as he strolls down Broad Street greeting old and young alike. The Christmas lights, real gas street lamps and twinkling white lights dance on the glistening snow and complete the setting of this Victorian Christmas scene.

    Nevada City Victorian Christmas 2013, Wednesdays, December 4th, 11th & 18th from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.and Sundays, December 15th and 22nd from 1:30 – 6pm.

    Come and see:

    Holt Ballet “The Nutcracker” Dec 11 & 12
    Nevada City Winter Craft Fair Dec 15
    Backcountry Film Festival Dec 17
    Christmas at the RR Museum Rescheduled for Dec 14
    Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” thru Dec 24
    Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides in Nevada City
    “The Christmas Card” December Showtimes
    Artist Daniel Brooks at NC Winery Dec 6
    Holidays at Empire Mine Nov 29 & 30

    This year’s entertainment includes:

    Juggler Izzi Tooinsky
    David Ayala – Accordian Walking Christmas Tree
    Village Festival Recorders Victorian Christmas Singers Nativity Scene
    Peter the Magician
    Gold Country Brass
    Balloons & Bounce House Sierranaders
    Auburnaires
    Sometimes Singers Tommyknocker Cloggers
    Joe Sousa
    Highland Dancers
    Father Christmas & Victorian Characters Thunderfood Cloggers
    Shades of Blue
    Ludi Hinrichs
    Bag Piper Les Milroy
    Nevada Union Choir
    Zed & Sean, the Unicyclist & Juggler Ruckrich Family Band Salvation Army Brass
    Jubilo Minstrels & more!

    Get the Victorian Christmas Entertainment Guide
    contact the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, 132 Main Street Nevada City, CA 95959. Call (530) 265-2692 or toll-free (800) 655-NJOY.

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    • Photography
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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    Firehouse Museum

    by BruceDunning Written Oct 21, 2013

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    Firehouse next to other buildings
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    This is on Main Street and a very nice visit for the small but packed building. They have many original artifacts from the 1800 era, and also great pictures from then. Built in 1861, it remains intact

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    Old chinatown

    by BruceDunning Written Oct 21, 2013

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    Commercial store from 1880

    The area was burned down in 1855, but the buildings were rebuilt over the next 20-30 years. This picture is of the commercial retail food store for Chinese. there wee only about 315 of them back in those days, and much of the street now is residential/commercial, where it once was laundry and bordello, and opium pleasures. There is nothing left to see of the Chinese era.

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    Oldest Building in Town

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 21, 2013

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    Oldest wood structure

    This old wood structure is on Boulder St-just across the river form the main part of town. It was used for viewing once in a while, and also for some events. It is from the 1840's and was a meeting place for townfolk in those days. Now it is a hair cutting shop

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    Malakoff Diggins Hiking

    by BruceDunning Written Oct 21, 2013

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    Dense foilage in the pit
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    This is an area about 16 miles northeast of Nevada City along a rough and rutted road for most of the way, but an adventure. The "digging" is from hydraulic water pressure that created a pit about 2 miles length and 1 mile width. You can hike the loop trail of about 3-4 miles round trip, or take the Rim trail of what is said to be 3-4 miles-but looks like much more. I took the loop trail, and found that it is not necessarily easy by any means. The up and down, and descent 300+ feet into the pit is tough enough. What I found when I got into the pit is that you cannot find the trail as many creek flows are around the bottom, and the thick tree and shrub foilage confuses a person about the best direction to take for the so called loop. I went about 3 miles before it came to a point where I thought it best to return the same way I went in.

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    Hiking S. Yuba River-Edwards Crossing

    by BruceDunning Written Oct 21, 2013

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    Bridge crossing over S. Yuba river
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    This road also heads on toward Malakoff Diggins, about 6 miles past the bridge on rough bumpy road. This trail is not much to see/do along the way. It goes from a parking lot and one way about 5 miles through pine trees and along the river, traversing and winding along the way.

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    Hiking S. Yuba River-Purden crossing

    by BruceDunning Written Oct 21, 2013

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    Old 1895 bridge
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    This is a road that crosses over the river is on an old bridge from 1895, and it looks like it. The road getting to the rive, and beyond is bumpy, rough and hard driving. The trail goes either over to Edwards Crossing about 5 miles est, or take it west 5 miles to Hoyt crossing (Hwy 49).

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    Hiking S. Yube River-Independence trails

    by BruceDunning Written Oct 21, 2013

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    Bridge crossing over a creek of Yuba river
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    This is a long trail that can be accessed from Hoyt Bridge (Hwy 49), or a bit down the highway 1/2 mile, you can go either east or west. I took the west portion, and it was difficult. The ascent/descent was about 1000 feet over 3/4 mile. I hiked down to the river edge, and returned again-UGH.
    The trail total length is 7 miles one way

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    Hiking S. Yuba River-Hoyt Crossing

    by BruceDunning Written Oct 21, 2013

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    Both bridges in the picture
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    This is located off hwy 49 which crosses the river here. There is an old and new bridge crossing this spot. The trailhead is on the north side, going easterly. The trail is 3 miles one way heading NE and a beach is located about one half way. You also can swim just below the bridge, with access from a stairway on the bridge. The hike is relatively easy, and goes through an area where campers are along the river.

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    WATER MAKES THE WHEEL GO ROUND

    by travelgourmet Updated Feb 6, 2012

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    15 TON PELTON WATER WHEEL
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    On your walk around Nevada City, go one short block from Broad Street to the Main Street and Commerical Street Square. The square is easy to spot as the 15 ton water wheel sits prominently in the center. This is the famous Pelton Wheel, an impulse water turbine that was invented by Lester Pelton, who came to the Sacramento area from Ohio in the 1850's to be a fisherman but saw the gold rush fever and came to Nevada City to work the gold mines.

    He came up with the idea of his water wheel by accident when he saw a water turbine misaligned and the water hit the end of the water cups instead of the center and the wheel spun faster. His design was to have a double cup that split so that the water went left and right to increase the speed of the turbine. Very impressive and practical. It towered over me as I stood next to it. The Pelton Wheel was first used by 1883 and created 18000 horsepower of electricity for over 60 years. Make sure you stop by to see a little history that helped develop the wild west.

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    Second Stop: Take the Walking Tour

    by TooTallFinn24 Updated Dec 3, 2011

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    South Yuba Canal Office: Start Walking Tour Here

    One of the many nice things about Nevada City is that you can see nearly all of the interesting buildings and sites in a relatively short walk. Unfortunately there are not wayfinding signs around town directing you to particular buildings.

    So to help you get around here is a link from the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce that shows the walk and briefly explains the site. Print it out and take it with you. It was updated in the summer of 2011.

    http://www.nevadacitychamber.com/images/nc_walking_tour.pdf

    The walk will take you between an hour and two hours depending on whether you decide to visit any of the museums along the way. You will see a variety of historic buildings, a plaza, a park and get a better sense of what Nevada City might have been like 150 years ago.

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Nevada City Things to Do

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