IMG 2587 002Grass Valley, CA


According to a United Way of California report, 35% of households in Nevada County are struggling to get by. Do you have a friend or neighbor who is having a hard time making ends meet? Food Access Saturday may be able to help. United Way of Nevada County and Interfaith Food Ministry distribute nutritious supplemental groceries on the second Saturday of each month. The program was formed two years ago for working individuals who need help putting food on their table, but are unable to pick up food at local food distributions during the workweek.


The program has grown to encompass a larger population; welcoming others to the table, including anyone who needs food but is unable to make it to the food distributions Monday through Friday. So far, over 5500 bags of food, including fresh fruit and produce, have been given to more than 2400 people in need. United Way partner agency, Interfaith Food Ministry, distributes food Mon/Wed/Fri from 10am-1pm and the Food Bank of Nevada County provides food at five locations throughout the month.


United Way of Nevada County strives to assure individuals and families in Nevada County are able to meet their basic need for food, emergency shelter and access to health care. Interfaith Food Ministry works to reduce food insecurity in Western Nevada County. They feed the hungry, helping to sustain good health and human dignity. The distributions take place at 440 Henderson Street, in Grass Valley, from 10am-noon on the 2nd Saturday of each month. For more information contact United Way at 274-8111 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Exhibitors will receive free tickets to a Draft Horse Classic performance


For those interested in entering an exhibit in the Harvest Fair at the Draft Horse Classic, entry forms are now being accepted.  The deadline to turn in exhibit entry forms is 4 pm on Friday, September 13. It’s free to enter and all exhibitors will receive complimentary tickets to the Thursday evening performance of the Draft Horse Classic.   

There are more than 100 different classes to choose from, including traditional classes like fruits and vegetables, cobblers, pies, jams and jellies, scarecrows, and cut flowers. There are also numerous unique classes to enter like the Huge Harvest Haul, Nevada County Grown (arrange any size basket of agricultural products grown in Nevada County), or Nevada County Donates (arrange canned or dried food in a basket and it will be donated to a local food bank). A complete description of all Harvest Fair divisions and classes is available in the Harvest Fair Competition Handbook available online at


To enter, exhibitors must submit entry forms at the Fair office or online at between now and Friday, September 13 at 4 pm.  It’s free, it’s simple to complete the entry form, and it’s fun to see your exhibits on display at the Harvest Fair. 


All exhibits will be on display during the Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair, happening September 19 – 22 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.  The event features six draft horse performances in the arena, as well as ongoing activities on the Fairgrounds like musical entertainment, Art at the Classic, a horseshoeing competition, a Western Trade Show and visits to the barns.


For Draft Horse Classic performance tickets or information about entering a Harvest Fair exhibit, call the Fair Office at (530) 273-6217 or visit

Grass Valley, Ca.


The Historic Downtown Grass Valley Thursday Night Market is once again offering its FREE Summer Concert Series featuring nationally acclaimed local and regional musicians performing on the Main Street Festival Stage. Between the street vendors, local shops, restaurants and entertainment, you’re sure to find something for everyone. So bring the whole family and enjoy a truly spectacular event!

Music, art, farmers, entertainment and local food will be featured on the streets of downtown Grass Valley Thursday nights:  The free event takes place on Thursdays from 6:00pm to 9:00pm June 27th, July 11th, 18th, 25th, and August 1st.

Grass Valley Thursday Night Market will feature a beer and wine garden with beverages from local wineries and entertainment.  Beer and wine entertainment stage will feature a different full band every week.

Several local businesses will extend their offerings out in front of their store front to enjoy their food while taking in the community gathering.

Visit for details or call the office at 530-272-8315

The South Yuba River State Park Bird Walks. Anticipate seeing birds common to a woodland/riparian habitat such as Towhees, Dippers, Various Wood Peckers, Blue Birds, Kinglets, Phoebes, Quail, Bald Eagles during the winter breeding season and the many spring migrants in the park (Warblers, Grosbeaks, Swallows and more).

The walks are scheduled for Saturday, January 12 - Saturday, February 9 - Saturday, March 9 - Saturday, April 13 - Friday, May 3 Saturday, May 11 - Saturday, June 8 - Saturday, July 13 - Saturday, September 14 - Saturday, October 12 and Saturday, December 7

All of the walks will start at 8:00 AM except for the February walk which starts at 9:00 AM and the June, July and September walks which will start at 7:30 AM.

Meet at the South Yuba River State Park's North Parking Lot (Just past the South Yuba River-Pleasant Valley Road Bridge).

Easy walking along a wooded trail and the river. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and bring binoculars!

For more information, contact South Yuba River State Park at (530) 432-2546

Colfax, Ca.

Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) joined Governor Gavin Newsom and emergency officials in Colfax for the announcement of Executive Actions on emergency preparedness. Asm. Gallagher issued the following statement in reaction:

“Unfortunately, the North State is no stranger to emergencies. We are all too familiar with fires, floods and the devastating impact these disasters leave in their wake.

“Today, the Governor made clear his intent to prioritize and accelerate the state’s response to wildfires and other emergencies. I am encouraged to hear that his budget will include funding to enhance 911 services and bolster the state’s fuel reduction programs.

“Most of all, I am pleased to learn that the Governor has committed to a three-year property tax backfill to keep critical Butte County government operations afloat. I am hopeful that the Legislature will embrace this proposal from the Governor and look for other ways to aid our communities as we recover.”

Background: In December, Assemblyman Gallagher introduced a similar proposal (Assembly Bill 42) to backfill property tax revenues lost as a result of destroyed properties getting reassessed.

submitted by John Field


save our bridge1 9

The longest, historic covered single span wood bridge left in the world, located right here in Nevada County, is about to be fully restored! The Project, located in the South Yuba River State Park, is fully funded, all permits are in place, a qualified contractor (the Spectra Company) has been selected with a signed and approved contract and the Notice To Proceed (NTP) issued. Mike Brown, Project Manager for the Bridge Project, California Department of Parks and Recreation, (DPR), reports: ... “that (the) contract has been executed by both DPR and Spectra. This means our agreement is finalized and we can look forward to beginning the submittal process.”

Submittals by the contractor for the materials to be used and the processes to be employed in the restoration will begin, with actual construction work to start in the Spring of 2019, with a completion date set for the end of 2019. There are many factors that may impact this specialized Project, such as weather and river levels, condition of the structure as it is disassembled and the availability of the materials needed to restore the Bridge to its original historic condition.

We have come far, accomplishing much and overcoming many challenges over the past seven years with the support of the whole community. Nevada County District 4 Supervisor Hank Weston comments “I am happy to see all the hard work by everyone will soon be accomplished and I look forward to crossing the covered Bridge as member of the community knowing all the hurdles we had to overcome.” We are indeed excited to finally see this iconic structure restored. We will Save Our Bridge!

Planning is already underway for a multi-day celebration once the Bridge is restored and ready for public access. We look forward to many future generations of visitors experiencing what it was like to cross the wild Yuba River on this unique Bridge, built in 1862, to carry them on their way to the gold and silver fields in California and Nevada.

United Way12 26United Way of Nevada County (UWNC) has been serving Nevada County for 36 years, striving to make impactful changes in the local community. United Way works to create community-based and community-led solutions that strengthen the cornerstones needed for a good quality of life. In a 2018 study done by United Ways of California that examine each of California’s 58 counties at the neighborhood level, it was found that more than one in three California households (33%) do not earn sufficient income to meet basic needs. In Nevada County, this study revealed that 38% of all households in the county spend more than 30% of their income on housing.

Over the past several years, due to these studies and the results of several collaborative meetings, United Way has focused on the basic needs of the community. A strategic plan was produced as a guide for the board and staff to achieve their vision as well as to evolve and strengthen the organization’s future. United Way of Nevada County continues to strive to address the basic needs of the community. Through strategic efforts the board and staff hope to mobilize the community to come together to make a difference in the specific areas of food insecurity, access to health care and emergency shelter.

Through researching the needs in the community, United Way has been able to pinpoint some gaps in services, and it is striving to help fill some of those needs. The Food Access Saturday program is one such example. United Way saw a need in the community for a food distribution program during the weekend. Through collaborations, it helped fill that need by creating Food Access Saturday, which is now a monthly program that has provided more than 1500 individuals with much-needed healthy food. In addition, United Way saw a need in the community for transportation to services, and it collaborated with Hospitality House to purchase a van for transportation for the homeless to services. United Way has also seen a need in the community for better medical care accessibility and will be hosting a free California CareForce medical clinic in January of 2020.

Through community collaborations and a focused board and staff, United Way has been delivering change. Not only has it been funding community programs, it has been creating important programs like Food Access Saturday. United Way has also revised their policies to make emergency funding available to community partners. In 2017 when the fires hit Nevada County, United Way made funds available to help partner agencies. Funds from the United Way Community Impact fund were used to help the Food Bank with their expenses in helping the evacuation centers. This year, United Way doubled the size of its board of directors, creating a hard-working, hands on volunteer board focused on making impactful change in our community. Megan Timpany, CEO of United Way of Nevada County, recently remarked, “It has been an honor and a privilege to work with all the wonderful individuals that have helped to make United Way what it is today. Through their focused efforts United Way strives to build a healthier community. We are looking forward to a very productive new year.”

fairgroundsPatrick 1 2018Grass Valley, Ca.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds Board of Directors announced that Patrick Eidman has been named the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nevada County Fairgrounds, effective immediately.

Eidman has served as the Deputy Manager of the Nevada County Fairgrounds since March 2017 and as the acting CEO since July 2018. He brings more than 20 years of management, grant writing, fundraising, event planning, and financial reporting experience to the job, as well as an extensive agricultural background.

A native of Grass Valley who graduated from Nevada Union High School, Eidman has deep roots in Nevada County and a long history with fairs. He has fond memories of his grandparents bringing him to the Nevada County Fair during his childhood, showing sheep at fairs across the Western United States with his parents and sisters, and exhibiting steers and sheep as an FFA member at the Nevada County Fair. He was also Livestock Secretary from 2011 – 2016 at the Nevada County Fair.

“To be leading the Nevada County Fairgrounds, a place I love and in a community I call home, is an honor and privilege,” said Eidman. “I look forward to working with our exceptional team and our many community partners to continue the long tradition of the Fairgrounds serving the people of Nevada County in times of need and in times of celebration.”

Eidman has experience in the private, nonprofit, and public sectors. Before joining the Fairgrounds team in 2017, he worked for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, where he served as the Special Projects and Field Operations Grant Program Coordinator and managed the Conservancy’s local assistance grant program. Prior to that, he worked for the State of Colorado as the Director of Historic Preservation Technical Outreach.

He is the Second Vice President of the Nevada County Farm Bureau, a member of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation, and the Mother Lode Area chair for Western Fairs Association. He recently completed the Nevada County Citizens Academy program and is a graduate of Sonoma State University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies with a focus on City and Regional Planning.

“On behalf of the entire Board, we are pleased that Patrick has accepted the role of CEO,” said Steve Steele, President of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Board of Directors. “He brings years of experience to the job and he has certainly proven himself as a leader the past five months while serving as the interim CEO and guiding the Fairgrounds team through three major events. He is the ideal candidate – one who honors and respects the traditions of the Nevada County Fairgrounds and one who is prepared to lead us into the future with new ideas – and we are fortunate to have him leading the way.”

As CEO, Eidman will be responsible for overseeing the annual Nevada County Fair, the Draft Horse Classic, the Country Christmas Faire, interim events and facility rentals, the RV Park, and the infrastructure of the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

For more information about the Fairgrounds, visit

united way12 12United Way is holding a collection drive for new warm hats, gloves and socks for those in our community who are in need. Donate these much-needed items and help everyone in our community stay warm this winter. Who are those in need? The sad truth is that a great majority of those in need are families with children who are just struggling to get by. According to the Real Cost Measure study done by the United Way of California recently, 30% of Nevada County households with children face a large barrier to economic security. This collection drive will help those households and individuals stay warm during the upcoming winter months.

Now through Dec. 14th, new warm hats, gloves and socks can be dropped off at the following locations:

AAA, Walker’s Office Supplies, B&C Ace Home Center, the Rood Center lobby, Grass Valley City Hall, Family Resource Center, The Union, Hospice of the Foothills, the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, and also the United Way of Nevada County office.

Currently United Way of Nevada County is focusing on helping the community of Nevada County in the area of Basic Needs, including Food, Emergency Shelter and Access to Health Care. United Way of Nevada County envisions a community where all individuals and families achieve their desired potential through healthy lives, education and income stability.

If you are interested in finding out more about our collection drive, please call 274-8111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Live United this holiday season and help us keep the community warm.

For more information, call 274-8111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

country christmas Gingerbread 12 5 2018Grass Valley, Ca.

Last weekend’s 34th Annual Country Christmas Faire at the Nevada County Fairgrounds welcomed more than 8,000 visitors and 115 vendors, featured 45 gingerbread houses and 75 coloring entries, and hosted a canned food drive.

The 16th Annual Gingerbread House Competition featured 45 entries. Of those entries, Best of Show ribbons and gift baskets donated by Tess’ Kitchen Store were awarded to Leeam Eaton, Owen Strolle, Johanna Pease, and Avery Lawson/Joanne Perilman. The People’s Choice/Best of Show Winner was Kathy Kinney, who received a gift basket from Tess’ and a cash prize.

First place winners in the Gingerbread House Competition include Charlie McCollum, Breck Lumbard, Emelina Lumbard, Christian Augustine, Lilah Black, Evie Black, Hazel Duran, Annabelle Husak, and Deacon McCollum (age 5 & under); Leeam Eaton (age 6-8); Finn Beckin (age 9 – 12); Jessa Jaskier (Kits); Owen Strolle (age 13-17); Kathy Kinney (age 18 -64); Johanna Pease (Special Needs); S.S.J. Stalcup and Ramey Cousins (group – children); Avery Lawson/Joanne Perilman, and Margo Murphy (family); and Christie Harris (group – adult).

At Sunday’s canned food drive, Interfaith Food Ministry collected more than 578 pounds of food for families in need.

In addition, the Clear Creek School Errand Elves raised funds for science camp; and Big Horse Works, who provided carriage rides at the Faire, donated more than $300 to those impacted by the Camp Fire.

The names of all the Gingerbread House Competition winners can be found on the Fairgrounds’ website at The 2019 Country Christmas Faire is planned for Thanksgiving weekend, November 29, 30 and December 1.

Caption: The annual Gingerbread House Competition at last weekend’s Country Christmas Faire featured 45 entries, including this People’s Choice/Best of Show Winner by Kathy Kinney of Penn Valley. Photo by Lenkaland Photography.

By Courtney Ferguson

empire mine11 21

Photo by Richard Bannister

Portraying influential characters from our past, such as Mr. and Mrs. William Bourn, Jr., Living History docents add a touch of Downtown-Abbey style and charm.


“Magical moments with Santa and Mrs. Claus are a major part of the fun,” said Event Chair Troy Hammer. “Our volunteers outdo themselves when it comes to lavish decorations that capture the spirit of Christmas past.”

Both the 1905 Clubhouse and Empire Cottage will be all decked out in their finest. Living History docents will be wearing their authentic turn-of-the-century attire, adding a touch of Downton Abbey-style nostalgia.

However, for the children, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus is the highlight. Many bring lists of all the toys and gift items they’re hoping for. “Santa and Mrs. Claus are amazing,” Hammer added. “They’ve been doing this for years, and they’re masters at making every child feel special.” Santa’s deep-red outfit is a traditional, European style, much like Father Christmas – and very different from modern, department-store presentations. Sitting next to the beautiful Christmas tree near the fireplace, Santa and Mrs. Claus will listen patiently to each and every wish. Visitors should know that Santa and Mrs. Claus take a short lunch break early in the afternoon.

Near the Clubhouse, loveable Ray Ray the Clown and magician Peter Franchino will entertain those waiting to see Santa. Special children’s activities are planned under the porch, such as coloring, Lincoln Logs, hobby-horse reindeer, and Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. Food, drinks and snacks will also be for sale by local vendors. Roasting chestnuts will be offered on the Clubhouse courtyard.

Docents portraying historic characters (maybe renowned owners Mr. and Mrs. Bourn) will be pleased to welcome everyone to Empire Cottage, designed by acclaimed San Francisco architect Willis Polk. Live performances by Celtic Joy, Heather MacAdam, Kelly Fleming and Blended Metal Saxophones will add festive music to the mix. Visitors will also receive a complimentary Christmas cookie, served in the old-fashioned kitchen.

One-man band Gary Hinze is scheduled to perform near the Mine Shaft. Another “must” is a visit to the Blacksmith Shop. With their forges blazing and hammers clanging, the blacksmiths are never too busy to explain the important role their predecessors played in Empire’s famed prosperity. Many of their hand-crafted wares will be for sale in the popular Gift Shop. With its unusual assortment of books on mining, local history, children’s stories, jewelry, geological artifacts, and souvenirs, visitors are likely to find unusual gifts for all ages and budgets.

“This is an ideal event to share with family and friends,” Hammer emphasized. “Besides the yuletide spirit, it’s an excellent opportunity for local people to show their pride in our treasured Park.” Each year around 100,000 people from all over America and all over the world discover gold history at Empire Mine State Historic Park.

This two-day event, the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, is hosted by Empire Mine Park Association (EMPA), the organization dedicated to helping maintain and enhance the Park since 1976. With special activities from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day, Holidays at Empire Mine is enjoyable for all ages – and everyone’s invited, including well-behaved dogs on leashes. Phone the Visitor Center on (530) 273-8522 for further details, or visit


When: Friday, November 23rd & Saturday, November 24th

11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (both days)

Where: Empire Mine State Historic Park

10791 E. Empire St, Grass Valley

Cost: $7 ages 17 & over, $3 ages 6-16, FREE admission for children under 6

+ FREE parking


Country Christmas Faire Coloring Contest

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is offering a coloring contest for children and adults as part of the annual Country Christmas Faire, Coloring sheets are available at the Fairgrounds office on McCourtney Road or they can be downloaded at

There are two drawings to choose from, and it’s free to enter the coloring contest. Simply choose your favorite drawing, fill out the entry form, complete the drawing, and return it to the Nevada County Fairgrounds – either by mail or in person – before November 16. The coloring contest is limited to one entry per person.

The coloring contest is divided into seven categories: five years old and under, 6 – 8 years, 9 – 12 years, 13 – 17 years, 18 – 64 years, 65 and over, and special needs. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded. Winners will receive carnival ride coupons for the 2019 Nevada County Fair.

All entries will be on display in Ponderosa Hall with the gingerbread houses during the Country Christmas Faire. Winners will be announced with ribbons on opening day of the Country Christmas Faire.

The Country Christmas Faire features four exhibit buildings filled with handcrafted gifts and unique crafts. Visitors to the Faire also enjoy strolling musical entertainment, festival foods, wagon rides, a visit with Santa Claus, and a community bonfire. The Country Christmas Faire begins Friday, November 23, and runs through Sunday, November 25. The hours are 10 am – 5 pm on Friday and Saturday; and 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, and free to children 12 and under. Parking is free. On Sunday only, bring a can of food and receive $1 off admission. All food will be collected by the Interfaith Food Ministry and distributed in December to those in need.


Now is the time for holiday bakers to think about the creation of a magical gingerbread house to enter in the 16th annual Gingerbread House Competition.

Competitors may enter any of the many categories, including children, teens, adults, special needs, families, and groups. There’s even a category for those who want to enter a house made from a kit. All those who enter and deliver a gingerbread house will receive one free admission pass to the Country Christmas Faire.

Ribbons are given to all winners, and the Best of Show winner will receive $100. A gift basket from Tess’ Kitchen Store will also be awarded to the Best of Show winner and the People’s Choice Award winner.

Entry forms must be received at the Fairgrounds by Friday, November 16 by 4 pm. The actual gingerbread house must be delivered to the Fairgrounds on Tuesday, November 20 between the hours of 8 am – 4 pm at Ponderosa Hall. The cost is $2 to enter. Entry forms and a complete list of rules are available at the Fairgrounds office on McCourtney Road or at

The Country Christmas Faire features the work of talented artisans who fill the Fairgrounds exhibit buildings with quality handmade crafts and unique gifts. Visitors can also enjoy holiday music, gourmet festival foods, wagon rides, and a community bonfire. Santa Claus will be on hand to greet children, so bring your camera to get that special photo. Santa will be available each day until an hour before closing time.

Free babysitting will be offered by Girl Scouts of the Northern Mines Service Unit and parents can drop off their children for free arts and crafts while they enjoy shopping. Errand Elves from Clear Creek School will be available in the lobby of Main Street Center to assist shoppers throughout the event.

The Country Christmas Faire begins Friday, November 23, and runs through Sunday, November 25. The hours are 10 am – 5 pm on Friday and Saturday; and 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults and free to children 12 and under. Parking is free.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is located at 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley. For more information, visit or call (530) 273-6217.

cornish christmas10 31Grass Valley, Ca.

On November 17th, the M3 Queens Northern California Community Service pageant will be hosting its Cornish Christmas competition. This event is open to the community with the delegates selling tickets for $10 each. Doors will open at 10am at the Gold Miners Inn in downtown Grass Valley. Coronation is expected to commence at 1pm and all of the Royal Court will participate in the upcoming Cornish Christmas event that takes place the 5 Fridays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. They will ring bells for Salvation Army Grass Valley 10am-8pm all 5 Fridays and provide free gift wrapping inside M3 Mall 5:30-8:30pm. You may pop inside M3 Mall at 133 Neal St during Cornish Christmas for the free gift wrapping - visit the guest vendors or connect with the Queens about the Cornish History. They wear the Cornish Tartan on their sashes and may be quizzed on information about the St. Piran flag, the national bird and the gold rush days of Nevada County.

Applications are being accepted now to participate in the Cornish Christmas pageant. Contestants are guys and gals ages 3 to 103. Melisa Mistler, Nevada County's Volunteer of the Year (Union Readers), is the event coordinator for the pageant and helps coordinate volunteer efforts year round in our community. Mistler states: "We are really in need of more adults - as we volunteer for the variety of chambers and non profits in our community and need an "over 21" group of guys or gals who love their community and want to serve. Our titles, like "ELITE" are for individuals over the age of 80, the title "Classic" for individuals over 60, "Diamond" over 40!" We have a lovely diversity of projects to be involved with year round as Nevada County has so many charities and fundraising events. To schedule an interview to run in the pageant or to work with the M3 Queens at your next charity event, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The 5 weeks of Cornish Christmas is run by the Downtown Grass Valley Association.

Photo provided by 3 Lillies photography in downtown Grass Valley - host to Santa during Cornish Christmas.

A few of the 2017 Royal Court were available with Santa.

Left to right: BonnieLee Josefson~Ambassador; Heather Clark~Mrs. Cornish Christmas; Melisa Mistler~Pageant Director; Victoria Amos~ Cornish Christmas Petite Queen; Hannah Morrison~Jr.Teen Cornish Christmas; Page Anderson~Jr. Miss Cornish Christmas; Lydia Zazueta,~Classic Cornish Christmas Queen.

Nevada Co.

The Fire Safe Council of Nevada County is seeking volunteers from the community, who would like to serve as Director on their Board, and volunteers in many other capacities. Positions for Directors are open for continuous filing.

Interested parties should contact the FSCNC at 530-272-1122.


Grass Valley, Ca.

We all know that it’s important to clear brush away from our homes to help protect it from fire, but did you know the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County (FSCNC) will send a crew to chip your brush piles for FREE? The chipping program is available to all Nevada County residents regardless of their ability to pay. The Fire Safe Council suggests a donation of $75 per hour for chipping services received to help ensure the program can continue when grant funding is not available, but a donation is not required to receive this service. This program is funded solely by grants and personal donations.

This program encourages local residents to maintain defensible space around their home. Not only will you be protecting your home, possessions, and loved ones, but also assisting firefighters to have adequate space to safely defend your home.

The Fire Safe Council is a non-profit corporation assisting homeowners in understanding, creating, and maintaining defensible space around their homes and evacuation routes. They are dedicated to saving lives and reducing fire losses, making our community more fire safe. Their vision is to create defensible space around EVERY home in Nevada County! Help them achieve their goal...clear the brush from around your home and let them help you by chipping your piles. Beautify your yard, make it safer and more accessible for the fire fighters.

The chipping program operates year-round, weather permitting, throughout Nevada County neighborhoods based on a first-come, first-served basis.

Residents in need of chipping services must submit a Defensible Space Chipping application available online at or by calling the Council office at 530-272-1122.


Nevada County unveils its newest historical landmark plaque: Columbia Hill School, now known as the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center

The Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission is delighted to invite the public to its September 30 unveiling ceremony for a new plaque to be installed at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center, 17894 Tyler Foote Road on the San Juan Ridge. The ceremony will begin at 5:00 pm and will include historical information about the site provided by local historian Hank Meals, architect Bruce Boyd and property owner Kim Coughlan.

Columbia Hill School was originally landmarked by the Commission in 1971 and is a graceful example of Western Colonial architecture. Built by the mining community in 1875, it has a long tradition of serving the community as a school, a public meeting hall and a cultural center for over 140 years.

In 1979 it was forced to shut down as a school by legislation requiring earthquake-proof construction. It reopened as a community cultural center in 1980 after extensive restoration undertaken by two local architects, with the help of many dedicated volunteers.

It's a unique building for a unique place with a unique culture. The mission of the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center is to sustain the cultural life of the San Juan Ridge through the maintenance of a space for appreciation, education, and celebration.

It strives to provide programming that enhances our community life. Over the years, the Center has hosted hundreds of unique cultural events with artists, musicians, and writers from all over the world. It also hosts film screenings, community forums, classes, festivals, and the nationally renowned Sierra Storytelling Festival.


Columbia Hill School is featured in the Commission’s interactive map and e-guide. The e-guide is an electronic book available for any smartphone or tablet from Apple, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Go to You Bet Press ( to find clickable links.

Prefer paper? There are still copies of the last edition available from Comstock Bonanza Press (


Nevada County is holding its 23rd annual Book Sale at the Rood Government Center Lobby, located at 950 Maidu Ave in Nevada City. It’s time to load up and donate all those slightly used books you have been meaning to pass on! In preparation for the Book Sale, the County is accepting donated books, in good condition, now through October 26th. You may drop off your donated books inside the east door in the Rood Center Lobby.

The Book Sale begins October 1st and runs through November 6th. All proceeds go to United Way of Nevada County. Prices range from $.50 -$4, and the sale is open to the public, Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm. There will be a variety of books on hand, including children’s, cookbooks, fiction and non-fiction. This event is just one of many Nevada County is holding to benefit United Way of Nevada County.

For more information, please call or email Lelia Loomis: (530) 265-1498 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The United Way of Nevada County’s mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. United Way of Nevada County envisions a community where all individuals and families achieve their desired potential through Healthy Lives, Education and Income Stability. To that end, our service priority is to assure individuals and families in Nevada County are able to meet their basic needs of Food, Emergency Shelter, and Access to Healthcare. More information can be found at our website -

United Way of Nevada County is postponing its annual Grills n Grilles event, which was scheduled for mid-October. Due to unforeseen health issues, it was necessary to postpone this big event until next year.

One part of the event, the 4th Annual Derek Sorensen Memorial Disc Golf Tournament, will still go on as planned. On October 13th, 10am at Western Gateway Park, disc golf players will compete for top prizes. The tournament includes members of the Gold Country Disc Golf Association. If you would like to register a disc golf team, sign-ups will take place on site, the day of the event, at the covered pavilion near Hole 17’s tee beginning at 9am. For additional information, contact Mike Woodman at 530-272-4400. All proceeds of the event go to United Way of Nevada County.

We would like to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers, BBQ teams and everyone else who works so hard to plan this great event every year. We understand it is unfortunate that this fun fundraising event will not happen this year and will advertise the date in 2019 as soon as we schedule it.

United Way of Nevada County’s mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. United Way of Nevada County strives to assure individuals and families in Nevada County are able to meet their Basic Needs. UWNC envisions a community where all individuals and families achieve their desired potential through healthy lives, education and income stability.


On Saturday, September 8, 2018, from 11 am-4:30 pm, the Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins and California State Parks, 23579 North Bloomfield Rd., Nevada County, California, will jointly commemorate the French heritage of the park in a delightful small-town festival. Cost: $5 Day-use fee. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the event. You may bring a picnic blanket, re-usable beverage container, beret (optional).

Attractions include French-themed music performed by Nevada County favorites Beaucoup Chapeaux, a reprise of the enchanting original marionette play, “How Malakoff Got its Name” by the Theatre of AWE, a guided tour of North Bloomfield’s French heritage, including the historic cemetery, locally sourced picnic-style food, beer, and wine, and a raffle with a grand prize of a week’s stay in a small villa on the French Riviera (Villa La Grisette, in Vence, Donated by Dr. Claudine Chalmers).

Research has revealed that the French influence at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park was widespread. Entrepreneurs designed massive water systems and hydraulic ventures, opened hotels and businesses, and planted gardens. They dominated the local scene at the Park for 15 years, laying the groundwork to the nation’s biggest hydraulic operation of the day, the North Bloomfield Gravel Mining Company, which was commonly called the French Company for years. The Malakoff Mine became so large that it was the defendant in the famous federal lawsuit that handed down the Sawyer Decision (1884), the renowned injunction against the laissez-faire practice of polluting waterways.

Malakoff’s French Connection II Festival commemorates those French and French-Canadian pioneers responsible for much of the early technological and cultural developments at the Park in a festive, lively gathering open to the public.

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park is located 26 miles northeast of Nevada City, nestled in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Within the Park’s roughly 3,200 acres of forested hills, lakes, dramatic cliffs, and historic buildings lies the exciting and significant story of the nation’s largest hydraulic gold mining operation and the nation’s first environmental regulation.

Today the Park is often characterized as a place of peace, quiet, and solitude, an ironically drastic shift from the destruction and devastation that created it. Popular activities include historic town tours, hikes through scenic diggings, mountain biking, camping, fishing, and photography.


A small farmers market will take place on Thursdays August 16th through October 25th from 4:00pm-7:00pm. North Auburn Street starting by Foothills Flowers and heading down towards Richardson Street