NEVADA CITY, CA
“One of the top ten best small towns to live in.”
Nevada City Listings
Nevada City was settled in 1849 and many of the homes built by those who owned and managed the mines during the Gold Rush stand proudly today. Within the historic district, many beautiful Victorians have been restored and refurbished.
As you travel outside of town, many older homes – some are Victorian farmhouses – sit alongside newer homes with more of a country feel. For the most part, homes are newer and lots are bigger. Real Estate opportunities are plentiful, homes start in the low to mid $100,000 range, and continue all the way up. Land parcels are available as well.
Deer Creek runs through the Nevada City, Scotts Flat Lake is a popular resort destination, and the spring blossoms are almost as spectacular as the vibrant fall colors.
NEVADA CITY BUSINESS COMMUNITY
The Nevada City business community seems to happen in two’s; there are two business districts, historic downtown, and the Seven Hills area. The city of Nevada City points proudly to two theaters that feature independent films, a very successful theatre group, award-winning restaurants and wineries, coffee houses, boutiques, antique and gift shops.
High speed internet access makes working from home easy for the many people who operate high tech and other companies from home offices.
NEVADA CITY SCHOOLS
Schools in the Nevada City School District maintain very high standards. The district serves over 1,600 children in kindergarten through eighth grade in six school sites–four traditional and two charters. The School Insurance Group consistently gives Nevada City School District an “A” rating for safe playgrounds and facilities.
Class size in grades K-3 is limited to 20. For the remaining grades, the average class size is 28.
All of the schools are technologically up-to-date with Internet-ready computers in the classroom, library, offices and computer labs for student training. World-class Language Arts and Math standards ensure challenged and well-prepared students. Nevada Union High School serves grades 9 through 12.
NEVADA CITY RECREATION
In addition to the large network of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, Nevada City is home to Deer Creek and Scotts Flat Lake. Locals and visitors enjoy fishing, kayaking, boating, swimming, canoeing, and warm summer days by the water.
From Nevada City there are many routes to the beautiful Yuba River. The swimming pool at Pioneer Park is open all summer. Several baseball fields and tennis courts are available to the public.
Miners Foundry Cultural Center hosts many events throughout the year and is the site for art auctions, concerts, parties, and weddings. The Foothill Theatre Company season takes place at the Nevada Theatre, with forays to two other venues during the play season.
A Railroad Museum beckons to old and young and The Imaginarium attracts young people to ever-changing science exhibits.
The music scene is alive and happening in Nevada City, with nightly live entertainment in downtown establishments. Recently the Red Hot Chilli Peppers appeared and performed in Nevada City.
Between Nevada City and Grass Valley, there are two dozen booksellers. They have recently earned the joint title of Book Town. This Welsh concept is the state’s first and one of only three nationwide. Notices of literary readings and events are posted throughout the town.
Music in the Mountains is a long-established concert series, attended by locals and music lovers from miles away.
NEVADA CITY EVENTS
- Mardi Gras
- Foreign Car Show & Wine Stroll
- Soap Box Derby
- Nevada City Bicycle Classic
- Farmerﾒs Markets
- Fourth of July Celebration
- Summer Nights
- Nevada City Uncorked
- Nevada City Film Festival
- Constitution Day Parade
- Fall Colors in Nevada City
- Thanksgiving Weekend
- Victorian Christmas
- Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Nevada City’s Rich History
For a journey back into California’s golden past and for modern-day cultural and recreational diversions, Nevada City ranks with Northern California’s best.
Bordering the Tahoe National Forest and located just minutes from many Sierra lakes and rivers, Nevada City is ringed by deep green pine-covered hills. Today, the town has a population is just 2,800 but it wasn’t always so peaceful. In 1850, there were 10,000 boisterous souls living here, and in the general election of 1856, the 2,082 ballots cast in Nevada City were exceeded in the state only by Sacramento and San Francisco.
“People visiting here for the first time are struck by the old mining
town appearance,” says Edwin Tyson, curator of the Nevada County Historical Society’s Searls Library, located near the County Courthouse.
“Preservation of the town’s historic appearance is important to the people of Nevada City,” Tyson said. “If it weren’t for the parking meters, you’d think you were back in time.”
Tyson says the town’s off-the-beaten-path location, on state highways 49 and 20, but away from the busy interstate highway system, has allowed Nevada City to retain its homespun charm.
Realizing the value of preserving city history for future generations, Tyson and other citizens were successful in 1985 in having the entire downtown area registered as a national historic landmark.
The historic district, including 93 buildings, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, eight individual buildings are listed on the register and the town also contains 18 state and local landmarks.
There is even a plaque in the National Hotel parking lot which is dedicated to the ladies of the evening and their unique contributions to the Gold Rush. The plaque was placed by the fun-loving fraternity of E Clampus Vitus.
As the county seat, Nevada City served for many years as the commercial, governmental and professional center of Nevada County. Since the turn of the century, however, it has gradually relinquished its domination of the retail trade to nearby Grass Valley and has in recent decades actively developed its tourism industry.
Today, visitors enjoy exploring the town’s narrow streets and century-old buildings. Nevada City nightlife, featuring several noted restaurants and near year-around live theatre, attracts regular visitors from Sacramento and the Bay area.
Nevada City developed along the banks of Deer Creek in 1849. Early reports told of miners who pulled a pound of paydirt a day from gold deposits along the creek. The town was first known as Deer Creek Dry Diggins and later as Caldwell’s Upper Store. Several major fires in the 1850s and early 1860s convinced the townspeople to use more brick in rebuilding their structures.
Civic leaders named the town Nevada, Spanish for “snow-covered,” in 1850 and the next year the newly-incorporated city became the Nevada County seat. The town’s name was later changed to Nevada City after its title was borrowed by the state to the east.
The town has had its share of firsts and famous people. Former U.S. President Herbert Hoover lived and worked here as a gold miner in his younger days. Three former U.S. senators, George Hearst, A. A. Sargent and William Morris Stewart, lived in Nevada City.
The consolidation of water companies that formed the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. occurred here and PG&E’s first general office was located in the National Hotel. The area boasts several inventions in the fields of mining, water and electricity.
It was in May, 1853, that Professor Henry Durant, formerly of Yale University, met with a committee in Nevada City to formulate plans for an academy that was incorporated two years later as the College of California. It would later become the University of California, Berkeley.
In recent years, the Nevada City lifestyle has attracted a number of well-known writers, artists and musicians. The area also draws high-tech business entrepreneurs who are able to locate their enterprises away from the stresses of big city life.
While many California gold rush towns have disappeared into the pages of history, Nevada City has rebounded time and again to emerge as unique blend of yesterday and today. Nevada City’s current cultural and economic renaissance is again proof of the town’s indomitable spirit.
“After more than a century of pioneer heritage,” says Edwin Tyson, “Nevada City remains the most complete gold town in California. It is a genuine small town and a living museum.