Grass Valley is a city in Nevada County, California, United States. Take a look below for 15 fascinating and awesome facts about Grass Valley, California, United States.
1. Situated at roughly 2,500 feet (760 m) in elevation in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, this northern Gold Country city is 57 miles (92 km) by car from Sacramento, 64 miles (103 km) from Sacramento International Airport, 88 miles (142 km) west of Reno, and 143 miles (230 km) northeast of San Francisco.
2. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 12,860.
3. Grass Valley, which was originally known as Boston Ravine and later named Centerville, dates from the California Gold Rush, as does nearby Nevada City.
4. Gold was discovered at Gold Hill in October 1850 and population grew around the mine. When a post office was established in 1851, it was renamed Grass Valley the next year for unknown reasons.
5. The town incorporated in 1860.
6. Grass Valley has the Empire Mine and North Star Mine, two of California’s richest mines. George Starr, manager of the Empire Mine, and William Bowers Bourn II, the owner, donated mine property which became Memorial Park.
7. Many of those who came to settle in Grass Valley were tin miners from Cornwall, United Kingdom.
8. They were attracted to the California gold fields because the same skills needed for deep tin mining were needed for hardrock (deep) gold mining. Many of them specialized in pumping the water out of very deep mining shafts.
9. This followed the disastrous fall in tin prices as large alluvial deposits began to be exploited elsewhere.
10. Grass Valley still holds on to its Cornish heritage, with events such as its annual Cornish Christmas and St Piran’s Day celebrations.
11. Cornish pasties are a local favorite dish with a few restaurants in town specializing in recipes handed down from the original immigrant generation. Grass Valley is also twinned with Bodmin in Cornwall (UK).
12. There was formerly a Roman Catholic Diocese of Grass Valley.
13. Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose features Grass Valley.
14. The combined communities of Grass Valley and Nevada City have a fairly diversified economy. The Gold Rush days left a historical legacy and tourism and the related services sector constitute the bulk of the local economy.
15. Many of those who do not commute to the Sacramento Valley work locally in retail, wholesale, trade, engineering, manufacturing, construction, and other businesses, as well in local and state government. A significant number of high-tech electronics companies are in the area.