Nevada City History


Sketch of Nevada County
by Aaron A. Sargent

From Brown & Dallison's Nevada, Grass Valley and Rough and Ready Directory, published in 1856.

The following unpretending sketch of Nevada County is designed simply as a record of some of the prominent events that have occurred in this region; to take from the tongue of tradition a few of the curiosities of circumstance that else may be lost in the lapse of time; rather as an aid to the future historian than aspiring to the dignity of history. If the incidents are familiar, or some of them trivial, let it be remembered, first, that we write of things that have been observed by thousands, many of them with better opportunities for observation than those of the author; and, second, that our theme involves none of those grander subjects that employ the pen of the historian when revolutions and wars darken in every page, and the sympathies or prejudices of the reader are carried by storm. Ours is an unvarnished tale, of a revolution, indeed, — one that has changed a wilderness to a populous, prosperous community; but one noiseless in its progress, and more remarkable in its results than in the manner of its accomplishment.

The history of Nevada County, fully written, would probably illustrate that of the whole interior of Upper California. The riches of its soil in minerals early attracted adventurous spirits of the early emigrants by land and water; it has passed through all the phases of California life, from the rough scenes of "49" mining camps, down to the present, when flourishing towns are spread all over its surface. In 1848, for the first time probably, the foot of the white man pressed its soil; now it has a population of about 25,000 souls, a flourishing trade, and industry employed not merely in extracting the gold from the earth, but in manufactures of various kinds; it has its county and town governments, its schools and churches, its benevolent associations, newspapers, telegraphs and stage lines, and other attributes of civilization. The disorders of early California life were shared in by this portion of the State. Here Judge Lynch summarily sent his victims to a higher tribunal; here murder and the duello trifled with life; here cupidity and malice prompted to robbery and incendiarism, and here good order and right principles have triumphed over all; — society has settled down to obedience to law and the teachings of morality. The future historian of California will have an ample field to note the changes in California life, and the influence of those changes upon the actors themselves in the great drama; to trace the various phases of character — the conflict of evil and good — the abandonment to business, pleasure, crime, or speculation that have marked different eras in the history of the State — the gradual mergement of better principles, and settled society from an early chaos — the peculiar development of Anglo Saxon energies, principles and education, taxed by excitements, amid successes and reverses treading rapidly upon each other, upon a sphere of action novel and extensive. Our task is to relate incidents merely, not to deal with the under current of society further than is necessary to illustrate the facts detailed. Conceding to learned critics all they may say, we ask indulgence for the following from the necessary heterogeneousness of the materials within our reach.

~     ~     ~

The County of Nevada was organized by an act of the Legislature, approved May 18th, 1851. Before that time it had been a part of Yuba County, but the growth of population and business, and the distance of the courts for the trial of important criminal and civil business, prompted the citizens of this part of Yuba County to move in the Legislature for a separate county organization. The application was successful, Henry Miller, J. N. Turner, J. R. Crandall, J. S. Allen, and Amos T. Laird, of Nevada, were appointed by the act in question to designate election precincts, appoint inspectors of election, receive returns, and issue certificates of election. The election of the first officers of the county took place on the fourth Monday of May, 1851, and T. H. Caswell was chosen County Judge; J. R. McConnell, District Attorney; Theodore Miller, County Clerk; John Gallagher, Sheriff; C. Marsh, County Surveyor; T. G. Williams, Assessor, and H. C. Hedge, Treasurer. The vote of the county cast at that election was about two thousand and nine hundred.

The very earliest settlement of which we can obtain a trace in the territory now known as Nevada County, was in the summer of 1848, at a place known as Rose's Corral, between what is now the Anthony House and Bridgeport. A man named Rose here built an adobe house, in which he traded with the Indians of the neighborhood, and a corral. The spot is now in ruins, and has been but little used since — the location not being valuable for the purposes of trade, as the county became more fully developed and no mines having been discovered in the vicinity. Rose also gave his name to a bar on the Yuba. Early in the spring of 1849 a company of Oregonians - old mountaineers, known as Greenwood & Co., in which were also some of Stephenson's regiment - followed up the South Yuba. They creviced for gold from what is now called Illinois Bar up to Washington. Some emigrants from Indiana, who arrived in 1849 at Sacramento, followed in their trail, and worked along the river steadily and with much success, with rockers. In the fall of 1849 they stopped at Washington. Greenwood & Co. stopped at Jefferson, which place was then known as “Greenwood's Camp" and Washington, as “The Indiana Boys Camp.” The winter was very severe, and the snow fell to a great depth, so that little mining could be done till spring.

In August, 1849, an Oregon trader by the name of Findley, commenced a store near Bear River, near what is now known as Storms' Ranch, on the old emigrant trail, to trade with the emigrants. Findley was an old mountaineer, inured to hardships, and had three times crossed the plains to Oregon, at a time when the passage was as much more difficult than it is at present as the route to Panama was in 1849 more than it is since the completion of the railroad. Findley sold out his establishment to one Brooks, by whose name it is at present known. In September, 1849, David Bovyer established himself on the South Yuba, near Jones' Crossing, for the purpose of trading with the Indians, and moved in October of the same year to White Oak Springs.

The only places in the county that date back as far as 1849, that are at present of importance, are Nevada City, Rough and Ready, Washington, and Jefferson.

As late as August, 1850, Washington was the highest point on the South Yuba at which gold had been discovered, and a large population centred in that place and at Jefferson, giving to these points an air of importance that has never been regained. Washington, at the September election, 1855, cast one hundred and eighty-three votes, and Jefferson fifty-three. In August, 1850, the miners at that part of the South Yuba numbered fully one thousand. They had remained there since the spring, or gathered in since, waiting for the water to fall, to turn the river, and prospect their claims. Dams and canals were constructed at a prodigious expense in those days. The success of working in the banks gave encouragement for these undertakings; but when the river was drained, the unsatisfactory result at once depopulated the neighborhood. Goods of all kinds immediately fell in price, and any article could be had at the scene of recent activity for half what it would then sell at in Nevada. The large anticipations that had been formed of fortunes covered by the river vanished, and with them the crowd of miners that had made the woods and cañons echo with life. Of the other towns which grew up in 1849, we shall hereafter speak more at large.

One of the most important agents in developing the resources of the county has been the water introduced from natural streams by means of ditches. During a large part of the year the business of the region must utterly fail were it not for these artificial streams, that compensate in a great measure for the drought of the summer season, and enable the miner to pursue his calling. The ditching operations have been generally so profitable to the projectors, and so indispensable to the mining interests that they now net nearly the whole county. Wherever good diggings are opened, some enterprising men cast about for a supply of water, and spare no labor to conquer the many obstacles which are presented by a rough, thinly settled country.

In March, 1850, the first enterprise of this kind was undertaken, but upon a small scale. It brought water from Mosquito Creek, a distance of a mile and a half, to Old Cayote Hill. Another ditch in May, 1850, took water from Little Deer Creek to Phelp's Hill, a short distance.

The first enterprise of this kind upon a large scale was unsuccessful. It was started in August, 1850, by a man named Moore, and was designed to take water from Deer Creek, just above Nevada, to Rough and Ready. Moore dug but one mile of his ditch, and was generally accounted crazy for his pains. But the enterprise was taken up in the following January, by Messrs. A. L. and B. O. Williams, who succeeded in getting the water through in the following April, a distance of thirteen miles, and made a great deal of money in working diggings on Randolph Flat with the water.

In September, 1850, Messrs. John and Thomas Dunn, C. Carrol [sic, Carroll] and C.[Charles] Marsh projected the Rock Creek Ditch, taking water from Rock Creek to Nevada, a distance of nine miles, and got the water on to the Cayote Hills in December of the same year. This was the first large ditch in successful operation in the County, and produced great results. Before that time the pay dirt taken from the Cayote lead had all to be hauled in carts to Deer Creek, at the foot of the town, at great expense; and piles of dirt had been left near the shafts on the hills, as useless, because it would not pay to be hauled for washing. These piles of dirt now became valuable, as the water flowed by them, and thousands of dollars were washed out of them. Many persons made their "piles” by “ jumping ” the piles of dirt that had been left as useless, the owners in many cases having gone to the other States well laden with the first produce of the lead. Cayote Claims that before could not be worked to advantage, also became valuable; sluice washing gradually came into use, and the water flowing from the hills where it was first used, down into the ravines, gave opportunity for work where before it could only be done in winter.

In November, 1850, two rival companies began to construct ditches to convey the water of Deer Creek to Nevada. The “Deer Creek Water Co.” began their ditch at the upper end, at the Creek; the “Cayote Water Co.” began at the end next the town. After the completion of the ditches, the companies were involved in continual law suits as to the priority of rights, to avoid which they consolidated in the fall of 1851.

In March, 1851, Messrs. Thomas & Co. started the “Deer Creek Mining Co.'s” ditch, leading from Deer Creek to Gold Flat, fifteen miles in length, and completed it in one year.

The “Newtown Ditch” was constructed in 1851, by Messrs. Dickenson, Newton and others, taking the water from Deer Creek and conveying it five miles to Newtown.

The “Tri - Union" formerly called the “Rifle-Box” ditch, was started in April, 1851, by Messrs. Montgomery, and Mason others, and takes water to Sucker Flat, in Yuba County, a distance of fifteen miles.

The “Shady Creek Ditch” was commenced by Eddy & Co., in July, 1851, and runs from Shady Creek to Sweetland's and French Corral, twelve miles.

The “Grizzly Ditch” was commenced in November, 1851, by Messrs. Pettiborn [sic, Pettibone], Marsh and Stuart, and runs from Bloody Run and Grizzly Cañon to Cherokee and San Juan, and in all its extensions, is forty - five miles in length.

The “Little York” ditch was started in February, 1852, by Gen. A. M. Winn, Capt. Chapman and others, and runs from Bear River, at Bear Valley, to Little York, a distance of eighteen miles.

The “ Walloupa ” ditch was commenced in July, 1852, by Messrs. Churchman, Coryell, Marsh, Dunn, McIntyre and McConnell, from Steep Hollow to Walloupa and Red Dog. a distance of fifteen miles. It was finished in 1855.

“Poorman's Creek” ditch was commenced in 1853, by Berry. man and others, running from Poorman's Creek to Orleans and Moore's Flat.

“Spring Creek and Humbug Cañon” ditch was commenced in 1853, by Messrs. Marsh, Tisdale and Rochford, to take water to Montezuma Hill.

The “Memphis Race” was commenced in 1853, by Dr. Jas. Weaver, to take the waters from the Middle Yuba to Eureka. This ditch is not yet finished, and is very large.

In 1853, Messrs. Spencer, Rich and Fordyce commenced a ditch [the Snow Mountain Ditch] from Deer Creek to Nevada, a distance of twenty miles, which was completed in 1854.

The “Middle Yuba Canal Co.” was commenced by Hoit & Co., in 1854, and was designed to take the waters of Grizzly Cañon to San Juan, Sebastopol, etc. Finding the supply of water to be insufficient, the company increased their capital, enlarged the ditch, and are now extending it to the Middle Yuba. It will probably be completed in the spring of 1856.

The “Miners' Ditch” runs from the Middle Yuba to Snow Point, Orleans, Moore's and Woolsey's Flats, and was commenced in the spring of 1855. It is a very large ditch, conducting water over a very difficult route, and is as remarkable for the energy displayed in its construction, as in the great difficulties of the undertaking. Mr. James Cregan is the principal director in the enterprise. The ditch is probably finished as this work goes to press.

The “Rock Creek, Deer Creek and South Yuba Water Co.," a company formed by the consolidation of all the early Nevada Water Companies, are now constructing a ditch [the South Yuba Canal] from the South Yuba to the head of Deer Creek, and to Alpha and Omega - the most stupendous ditch operation in the State. They have blasted through a bluff of solid granite for over a mile, on the South Yuba, the cliff in some places being eighty feet in height, and the shelf formed fifteen feet in width. They are also cutting a tunnel through the Deer Creek and Steep Hollow ridge, 3,100 feet in length, 204 feet from the summit.

We have been thus definite in tracing the history of ditch operations in this County, because no other department of industry has tended so greatly to develop the resources of the County and add to its population and wealth. Some of the smaller enterprises of this nature may have escaped our attention.

The gradual development of the County may be shown by referring to the origin of the various towns that have sprung up in different years. The only purpose of the settlements at first was mining, though advantages for trade have since developed themselves, and given vitality to some towns after profitable mining has ceased in their immediate neighborhood.

The towns which sprang up in 1849 are the more immediate object of this sketch; and we shall merely glance at the others.

NEWTOWN was the earliest settlement in 1850, and was first called “Sailors' Flat,” from the fact that the earliest discoverers of gold in its neighborhood, were a company of tars. It never reached to any considerable importance, and is now nearly deserted. The vote of this place in September, 1855, was 53.

KENTUCKY FLAT dates back to 1850, and was first mined by some settlers from Kentucky. Several valuable quartz leads have been discovered in the neighborhood, and the diggings have been worked with remarkable profit. There was no precinct at this place at the last election.

EUREKA is twenty-six miles from Nevada, in Eureka township, on Poorman's Creek, between the South and Middle Yuba. Mining was first done there in the spring of 1850, in the ravines. The deep diggings were opened in 1851. The place is badly supplied with water, except in winter. In summer the population is small, but in winter, grows to six hundred or a thousand. Water is expected from the “Memphis Race” in a few months, when the business of the place will materially change for the better. Vote in September, 230.

WOOLSEY'S FLAT, and SNOW POINT are benches or flats on a line with Moore's and Orleans Flats, and date back to 1853. They are located near valuable hill diggings and are growing encouragingly, especially the first named. Vote of Woolsey's, 55.

FRENCH CORRAL derives its name from an old station erected there in 1849. The first mining was in a rich ravine, early in 1852. The town was commenced in the spring of 1852. On the 8th of July of 1853, there were seventy houses in the place, fifty of which were destroyed by fire. Little progress was made in building again till May, 1854, when another fire burned the portion of the town that had escaped the previous one. The town has been rebuilt, and is again beginning to prosper. Vote in September, 90.

SWEETLANDS. — This place was much noted at an early day as a trading post on the ridge. It was located in the summer of 1850, by H. P. Sweetland. There are some very good diggings in its immediate vicinity; but not sufficient to cause the construction of a town. Vote in September, 106.

CHEROKEE, in Bridgeport township, took its name from a little stockade hut, built by some Cherokee Indians, who mined there in 1850. The first house built by white men was erected in the winter of 1851, by Crego and Utter. Miners slowly gathered in after this, but the town was not of much importance till June, 1852, when the “Grizzly Ditch Co.” introduced the waters of Bloody Run and Grizzly Cañon, and Cherokee became of considerable importance, and is now a thriving village, with several good hotels. Vote in September, 295.

LITTLE YORK. — This place sprang up in the spring of 1852. It is situated about twelve miles south - east of Nevada, in Little York township, on the ridge dividing Bear River from Steep Hollow, and is on an elevation of about six hundred feet above Bear River. It derived its importance from a lead of gravel running through the hill, richly impregnated with gold. An immense excitement accompanied its first discovery. The lead was discovered by it being intersected by a ravine, forming a deep chasm in its descent to Bear River, from which it was traced into the hill, about one hundred feet lower than the ground on which the town stands. The lead was opened in June, 1852, in a dozen places, within a distance of a mile, and miners made $20 per day to the hand, whenever water could be had. The diggings about Little York, at the present day, are sufficient to keep many miners at work, and the merchants enjoy a considerable trade with miners farther in the hills. The York Mining Co.'s ditch supplies the neighborhood with water. Vote in September, 66.

MOORE'S FLAT, OR CLINTON, is situated in Eureka township. It was first occupied by H. M. Moore, in 1852. He drove his cattle down on to the bench or flat, after his trip across the plains, and shortly after built a house and store, and engaged in mining. The population slowly increased, as some small ditches were constructed from Poor Man's Creek, etc., partially supplying the miners with water. Vote in September, 117.

ORLEANS FLAT — Two miles beyond Moore's Flat. The mines were discovered in 1852, but the town did not grow much till the following year, when water was brought from Poor Man's Creek. It is now one of the handsomest and liveliest towns in the county. Vote in September, 223.

ALPHA. — This place was first settled in the fall of 1852. The diggings are worked by hydraulic hose, all hill diggings. It is imperfectly supplied with water, except in winter, when some small ditches give employment to many miners. In the summer it is nearly deserted, and must be until some large ditch introduces the waters of the South Yuba. The vote in September 1855, was 59.

OMEGA resembles Alpha in many respects, and is a mile and a half distant from it by a rough trail. Ravine diggings were first worked here in 1851, and the hill diggings were opened in 1852. It is located on a section of a rich gold producing ridge, which must ultimately be of great importance. Vote in September, 58.

RED DOG, or BROOKLYN. — This place, situated nine miles from Nevada, in Little York township, was prospected by J. Perkins, in the fall of 1851, who discovered extremely rich hill diggings, paying from the surface down. The Whiteside diggings were next discovered. A great rush was made to the place, a town was laid off, and five hotels, with numerous other buildings, were erected. In June, 1853, the water wholly gave out, and the place was nearly deserted. A better supply of water is now had by means of ditches, and better prospects for the place are opening. The town was named for a drunken old man with long red hair.[Not actually true] Ineffectual efforts have since been made to change it to Brooklyn. Vote in September, 98.

WALLOUPA. — This place is situated about ten miles in an easterly direction from Nevada, in Little York township. The mines that gave birth to Walloupa were discovered in the summer of 1852. It received its name from an old Indian of Wemeh's tribe, whose name was probably a corruption of Guadaloupe, a patron saint of the Mexicans. It was believed that the hills in the vicinity were possessed of great mineral riches, and the “Chalk Bluff Co.” was formed to bring in the waters of Steep Hollow Creek. Upon the assurance that there would be an abundant supply of water without any unnecessary delay, miners flocked into the settlement, and Walloupa grew to a place of second-rate importance in the county. Trouble among the water company, and want of funds, prevented the bringing in of the water, and in 1853 Walloupa starved to death. By the effects of law, poverty and envy, the stock in the company passed into the hands of James Churchman and three others, and in October, 1854, they commenced operations in real earnest. In January, 1855, they had the ditch so far completed as to promise a good supply of water. Since that time, Walloupa has been gradually resuscitating. Good buildings have been erected the past year, and the believed richness of the hills is being realized. The vote last September was 55.

SAN JUAN. — The diggings of this thriving little town, in Bridge port township, were discovered in January, 1853, by Nathaniel Harrison. The Grizzly Ditch Company immediately extended a branch ditch to the place, by which the mines were prospected and opened, and miners found profitable employment for a few months in each year. A few trading houses and hotels were built, but the place did not flourish till the spring of 1854, when a large ditch, called the Middle Yuba Canal, gave promise of an abundant supply of water. Population flowed in, and the town increased greatly in size. An extremely rich country has been developed, and the coming year San Juan will give profitable employment to a large population. The vote in September was 120.

Other small settlements are dotted over the county, trading stands or ranches, and collections of miners, making an important addition to its population and resources, most of which date back to 1852—3, when an unusual abundance of water gave opportunity for extensive prospecting. It appears by the census report that Nevada had at that time a population of 21,365; $5,086,601 invested in mills, merchandise and town property, and 1587 acres of land in cultivation. We have no reliable data from which to ascertain the population of Nevada County at the present time. We estimate it, after some examination of the evidence within reach, to be 25,000. The material wealth of the county has increased in about the same proportion. But there is a species of property, untaxable, and never supervised by census agents, that would make these figures insignificant if properly estimated. We refer to the capital invested in mining operations. The agricultural industry of the county has immensely increased, and some of the finest farms in the State are found in Nevada County. The soil is excellent wherever irrigation developes its capacities. Vegetables grow with prolific profusion, and fruits of many kinds flourish finely. One farmer in Penn Valley raised the past year several bushels of fine peaches with great profit on the cost of cultivation.

~     ~     ~

The only duel ever fought in Nevada County had a fatal termination. It occurred at Industry Bar, on the Yuba, about eighteen miles from Nevada, on the morning of November 1st, 1851, between George M. Dibble, formerly a midshipman in the U.S. Navy, and E. B, Lundy, familiarly known as Jim Lundy, a Canadian. A trivial dispute arose at the mining camp during a convivial party, ending in opprobrious epithets from Lundy. Dibble challenged Lundy, and the rencontre took place the next morning at sunrise, with Colt's revolvers, distance fifteen paces. Dibble fell at the first fire, shot through the body, and was buried where he fell. C. E. G. Morse acted as second for Lundy, and Gen. J. C. Morehead for Dibble. The authorities got hold of the parties, but they escaped punishment. Lundy afterwards met a horrible award, being burned to death in the second fire at Sonora. He crept away in a corner very much intoxicated, was unable to escape from the flames, and was found the next morning a mere heap of bones and ashes. We may indulge the hope that this is the only duel that will ever disgrace the name of Nevada County. One soul was sent into eternity to satisfy the barbarous requisites of a falsely termed code of honor. Let it suffice. In this case, as in most others. had the seconds refused to give their aid, a young and promising man might have been saved to the community. In a moment of blind passion, smarting under real or imagined insult, a man may crave the blood of his adversary; but if he seeks it by the means the murderer employs, he knows his responsibility in the eye of the law, and is thus deterred from consummating his object. But when he can find a willing agent to carry his messages and arrange his preliminaries, he coolly kills his man under the shield of public sentiment, and is accounted a hero. Every man of honor should refuse to do the “dirty work” of a duel, and duelling would cease.

Society in 1852 underwent a vast change in many respects in the county. The experience of thousands in every department of life in California was not lost — that here as elsewhere — no sudden accessions to fortune were common. While a few had grown suddenly rich, the great mass had but slowly advanced or remained in statu quo, and the latter class was far more abundant from the restless movement of the masses, unsatisfied with results that in the other States would have been deemed splendid, and by which a slow but certain fortune was acquired. By frequent changes in pursuit of sudden fortunes, hundreds had thrown away that for which they sought, because they could not grasp it in a few months. Many of this kind went home disgusted and disappointed, emitting a blue flame of oaths all the way by the Isthmus, when only their own mistaken course produced a result for which California certainly was not responsible. People now began to discover that to be sure of success, a man must settle down upon the best prospect opening, — improve it, and use the gains of to day as a capital for to-morrow's operations. This change in the aims of the great mass of our population, the abandonment of the idea of gaining sudden wealth, the pursuit of slow and steady gains, largely contributed to the tranquillity and general improvement of the county. Better buildings began to be erected in the towns, merchants and others brought their families to found a new home, an air of permanency took the place of restless change, and to these causes, more than any other, may be credited the tide of prosperity that has since steadily set in upon us. The vote of Nevada County, at the September election, 1855, was 5363, being nearly double the vote cast in May, 1851.

~     ~     ~

NEVADA CITY is the largest and most prosperous town in Nevada County, and is not excelled by any other mining town in the State. From its location it has command of the trade of a very large portion of the upper country, and will be a formidable rival to Marysville if a railroad is ever constructed from Sacramento, or the accumulation of sand in the river, now navigable to Marysville, prevents vessels from reaching that point.

The earliest settlers in this place were Capt. John Pennington, Thomas Cross and William McCaig, who prospected in Gold Run in September, 1849, and built a cabin there. In October of the same year, Dr. A. B. Caldwell built a log store on Nevada street, back of Main street ravine, and from this circumstance the place was known, till long after, as “Caldwell's Upper Store.” Dr. Caldwell had previously built a store at Beckville, four miles down the Creek. In October a man, named Stamps, brought his wife and several children here, and built a cabin on the forks of the ravine back of Cayote street. His wife was the first lady that graced this rough part of creation with her presence. Now, thank Providence, Nevada, with the progress of improvements in other respects, is blessed with the society of a large number of the “dear, bewitching creatures."

The first building on Broad street dates back to the last of September, 1849, and was built by John Truesdale, just back of the lot where the Hotel de Paris now stands [now Bonanza Market on Bridge St]. In the Spring of 1850, Truex and Blackman built a log store on the spot where A. W. Potter's handsome brick building [South Yuba Canal Company Office and Ott’s Assay Office] now stands on Main street. Robert Gordon, about the same time, built a log store on the lot where Lachman's building now is on Commercial street. The first board building in Nevada was built by Madame Penn, in the spring of 1850, on the spot where the Empire now stands, near the foot of Main street.

The first hotel opened in Nevada was by Womack and Kenzie, early in the spring of 1850, on the spot now occupied by Espenscheid's brick building [northwest corner of Commercial and Main St]. In April, 1850, the “Nevada Hotel," on the site of the present Oriental, was built by J. N. Turner, of rifted pine boards; and what is singular as illustrating the immense size to which the heretofore unmolested tenants of the forests hereabouts had attained, the whole house — thirty-eight feet front and forty-eight in depth, all the rafters, beams, floors, etc. — were taken out of one tree. The house opened on the first day of May with forty boarders. The moderate price of board and lodging in these days was $25 per week. The winter of 1849—50 was of very severe nature, and the transportation of goods from below was very difficult. In March, 1850, the snow was ten feet deep on the banks of Deer Creek — three times the depth it has ever since attained. Goods of all kinds sold at exorbitant rates. We instance a few of the staples of those days : fresh beef and pork sold at 80 cents per pound; molasses, $7.50 per gallon; flour at 44 cents; potatoes, 75 cents; onions, $1.50; calf boots, $20; stout boots, from $30 to $40; long-handled shovels, $16. The only kinds of medicines in the pharmacopæia of the physicians of those days were calomel, laudanum and opium, which were. administered for all diseases and wounds, with little respect to symptoms.

The first great mail arrived at Sacramento in December, 1849, and an express was immediately started by some brothers named Bowers, who charged the moderate rate of $2.50 for conveying letters, and $1 for papers. This was the first express started from Nevada, and remained in operation till superceded by the larger expresses from below.

The news of the great mail having arrived below spread through the mines and created an immense excitement. It was the first visible token of real union between the Atlantic States and these wilds of the Pacific, and thousands were gladdened by intelligence of home and friends, separated by thousands of miles of desert and ocean.

An important element in the present business of this county is supplied by the saw mills that are erected wherever growing settlements create a demand for lumber. The importance of this business may be judged of from the fact that there are now eleven saw mills in prosperous operation within a circuit of two miles around the city. The first saw mill commenced in Nevada was on Deer Creek, just above the town [on Grove St], in August, 1850, and was, built by Lewis & Son, with a water wheel. Shortly after, one Moore erected a steam saw mill on Little Deer Creek, now known as Hirst's Mill, and in this mill the first lumber in the place was sawed. In Holt's mill, four miles below Grass Valley, afterwards burnt by the Indians, lumber was sawed as early as the 3rd of May, 1850, and the first in the county.

The name of “Nevada” was given to this settlement in March, 1850, on the occasion of an election of Alcalde. A murder committed in the neighborhood, and several other depredations, excited public attention, and the residents concluded that, to prevent such occurrences, it was necessary some authority to punish crime should be lodged in the hands of an officer. Early in March, therefore, an impromptu election was held, at which about 250 votes were cast. Capt. Woods, Col. Lamb, and O. P. Blackman were judges of the election, and Mr. [Charles F.] Stamps was declared duly elected. He held the office for two months, until the election of Olney as Justice of the Peace, at an election in May, appointed by the authorities of the county, and used to dispense justice in civil and criminal matters with more regard to equity than jurisdiction or precedent. At noon the judges of election and others adjourned to dinner at Womack & Kenzie's cloth hotel at the present corner of Commercial and Main streets, and champagne being freely circulated, it was proposed that the names by which these diggings had heretofore been known, viz: “Caldwell's Upper Store," and "Deer Creek Dry Diggings," be dropped, and a new and more euphoneous name adopted. It was finally agreed that each person present should write on a slip of paper the name he would suggest, and the collected names be referred to a committee of the whole for selection of the best. A great many names were written, and among others “Nevada,” by 0.P. Blackman, which was immediately, on being read, adopted by the meeting nem. con. [nemine contradicente, with no one dissenting; unanimously]  Thus Nevada was named.

The population of Nevada continued steadily to increase during the year 1850, and several hundred stores, dwellings, hotels, etc., were erected, besides a vast amount of cabins put up by miners in the vicinity. A vast impetus was given to the place in May by the discovery of the Cayote lead to the northeast of the town. Some miners working in the ravine now known as “Old Cayote Ravine," discovered that the lead did not give out as usual as they worked into the banks, but increased in richness. They worked as far as the skill of those days enabled them to into the bank, and then went beyond and sunk a shaft down to the bed rock, getting a lead that set the neighborhood wild with excitement. The limited experience then possessed by miners gave no clue to the means of tracing a lead; therefore shafts were sunk on the various hills of the vicinity in the vain expectation of finding gold in the same abundance. But the lucky ones, who happened to get the range on the same hill, soon traced it along towards where Cayoteville afterwards sprang into existence. A new order of mining came into use, called “cayoteing”; the busy village of Cayoteville grew up upon the lead, and thousands grew rich in a few months by the great discovery. As much as $40,000 were taken from a small claim, and there is believed to be no exaggeration in the statement that eight millions of dollars worth of gold dust were taken out of a lead about a mile in length, and at no place more than one hundred yards in width. The news of these immense discoveries soon attracted crowds to the place, and in the fall of 1850 there were about six thousand people living in and about Nevada. The experience of the previous year had taught merchants to expect a rigorous season, and a scarcity of goods. The same impression prevailed in Sacramento and San Francisco. Goods were therefore held high in those places, while our merchants deemed it necessary to provide largely for the demands of so great a body of people during the severe season expected. Heavy stocks of goods were accordingly laid in. But the winter proved mild, freights decreased, and by January, 1851, flour and other goods were selling at the rate that had been charged by teamsters for transporting them a few months before. Business in consequence wore a dismal aspect, and many mer. chants ceased business. The lack of rains caused an inadequate supply of water, and many of the miners left for other localities, so that from December, 1850, to late in the following year, the prospects for a total decline of the place were deemed by many too clear to be disputed. Each succeeding year, however, until 1854, when the rains were later than usual in supplying the streams with water, the predictions of a failure of the town were uttered by the disappointed. But since the latter year, the great material prosperity of the city and its rapid growth despite brazen skies, have killed off the croakers, and we believe there is not at present one of the race remaining — a mortality not much to be regretted.

In the summer of 1850, the first religious society was organized in Nevada — the Methodist Episcopal — by Rev. Isaac Owen, the first presiding elder of a very large district, embracing Nevada. A clapboard church was erected just above where the church of Rev. Mr. Warren now stands, and the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Mr. Owen, and occasional preachers, volunteering, we believe, from the ranks of miners. This may not be deemed strange; for those familiar with the character of the men who delved in the mines in the early settlement of California, know that talent, learning and moral worth were possessed in an extraordinary degree by hundreds of individuals who worked steadily with the pick by day, and slept on the earth by night, and dressed in the miner's roughest garb. And men of the same kind are now, we venture to say, as often found in the ravines and placers, as elsewhere. Before the erection of the church the preachers often held service on the streets to an attentive crowd, who left their work almost invariably on the Sabbath, and congregated in town. A large crowd drawn from the gambling and drinking saloons, then in full glory, and from the stores and hotels, would respectfully listen to the exhortations of the preachers, and then disperse again to their business or pleasures. We remember a singular scene in October, 1850, which illustrates the manners of the times. An earnest exhorter was singing his opening song to a crowd, near the site of the present Metropolis hotel, on Main street. A short distance below an auctioneer was expatiating on the merits of a mule to a smaller audience. A few rods [16½ feet] up the street a Swiss girl was turning a hand organ, accompanied by another with a tamborine. A drunken fellow near the bridge was attempting auld lang syne in the style of the preacher. Some ten wagoners, from Sacramento, were dispensing their goods at retail in the short street, and the varieties of the day were otherwise embellished by a savage dog fight that appeared for a few moments to be the greatest attraction. But such scenes passed away with the early history of the place, and the Sabbath is now seldom disturbed by noise or riot. Many of the merchants close their stores on Sunday; the gambling saloons are closed, or hide their transactions from the public, and churches have sprung up in abundance, being well supported. Rev. A. Bland was the first settled preacher of the M. E. Church, in June, 1851. The M. E. C. South was organized in Nevada in the fall of 1850, by Dr. Boring and Rev. M. Pollock, of Missouri. In May, 1851, Rev. J, H. Warren organized the Presbyterian Church, A Catholic Church was organized in the same year. Rev. Mr. Stone organized the Baptist Church in 1854, and Rev. Mr. Hill the Episcopal Church in 1855. Nearly all these churches have comfortable places of worship, supplied by the liberality of our citizens. It is estimated by a gentleman, who has peculiar sources of information, that the sum of thirty - five thousand dollars w contributed to the support of churches in Nevada in 1855.

The moral tone of Nevada county was not bad in 1850. Some crimes of a fearful nature occurred, and many light ones, but the character of the county favorably compared with that of any one in the State. In Nevada a few crimes of enormity were transacted, rather showing that reckless men were in the community than that the heart of society was wrong. In December, 1850, Dr. Lennox, of Missouri, was shot through the body, from the street, while conversing with some friends in his own house, and died within an hour. The cowardly assassin escaped. Such crimes formed a strong exception to the tone of manners and feelings of the people of Nevada.

~     ~     ~

On Wednesday, the 11th of March, 1851, occurred the first great fire in Nevada. One half of the city — the principal seat of its business was rubbed out, like an old account on a slate. At two o'clock in the morning a destructive conflagration commenced, which, in two hours, laid waste one hundred and twenty five stores, dwellings, hotels and saloons, filled with valuable goods, and thickly inhabited. So rapid was the spread of the flames, that merchants, several buildings from the one first ignited, had not time to save even their papers, money or watches; and those most distant could not remove the bulk of their goods. The buildings were extremely dry, of light construction, and burned with vast rapidity — the conflagration being accelerated by quantities of powder stored everywhere in the houses — which exploded momentarily at various points, as the heat overtook it, casting flaming timbers, brands and missles of all descriptions into the air. Nevada was built in the midst of a pine forest, and many tall pines were left standing in the heart of the city, while the houses closely hemmed them in. These trees, extremely pitchy, caught the flames as they writhed round their stems, and shot them hundreds of feet into the air, where they danced and quivered like malicious spirits over the scene of a burning world. The rushing flames presented a spectacle of meteoric splendor seldom equaled. As building after building was subjected to the destructive element, the column of flame shot higher and higher, undampened by the application of water, or by brick and mortar barriers. The only way in which the tide of flame was finally stayed was by tearing down and removing distant houses; and even then the fļames trod sharply on the heels of those employed in this work, The scene at sunrise was sickening — discouraging. A vast waste of ashes and chared timbers was all that remained of the buildings and their valuable freights. The loss was estimated at half a million. The worst feature in the case was that the disaster was undoubtedly the work of incendiarism. Three men were denounced as the incendiaries by a committee of inquiry of the citizens, and they would have been instantly hung, had they been taken. Perhaps hanging was too good for them. Chances of accidental fires are sufficiently strong in these wooden cities, and no man can calculate with certainty on the amount of property he will have on the morrow. But the infernal spirit of the man who deliberately applies the torch, when it must produce so much mischief to property, perhaps involve destruction of life, seems the direct inspiration of the devil.

In cases of incendiarism, murder, and even smaller crimes, the people of the county were beginning to punish the guilty without reference to the courts. The proceedings of this nature at San Francisco spread contagiously through the country. The officers of justice were so frequently remiss in their duties, that little dependence was placed upon their action, and even an acquittal was not always equivalent to an escape. But Judge Lynch presided infrequently in Nevada county. On the 1st of March of 1851, a man was hung at Kentucky Bar, in this county, for highway robbery and horse stealing — the people refusing to recognise the authorities. He confessed his guilt, however, after his trial and sentence. On the morning of the fire, a man received twelve sound lashes for stealing a sack of flour. Many of our citizens recollect further an instance of those men who committed grand larceny, being lynched and severely whipped, on a hill west of the town, in the same year.

In connection with such scenes, the great regret is, that our courts were so careless or corruptible, that the citizens reposed so little confidence in them. Judge Lynch is not entirely discriminating, and his mistakes are often fatal. No other plea than self defense can justify a resort to Lynch law, if it be even justifiable. But better regulated communities can little judge of the exigencies that arise in localities opening inducements for the collection of scoundrels from all parts of the world, and when justice is feebly administered. The first law of nature seems then to override all other law, or act in its stead. When an extreme degree of impurity pervades the atmosphere, endangering life, the air is riven with the thunderbolt — the noxious influences are dispersed by the sudden commotion. So, when society becomes endangered by a moral pestilence, defying or corrupting the law, it may become necessary to follow crime with sure award — to purge, with instant flashes of justice, the moral atmosphere. If such reasoning as this fails to exculpate entirely the actors in the tragedies of lynch law in California, it must be ad mitted that there were qualifying circumstances peculiar to the times, which must not be overlooked in forming an estimate of the character of the early settlers. One aggravation of the community in this region in the early years of the settlement was, that the higher courts having jurisdiction of crime at the time, were located at Marysville, and evinced a most distinguished disregard of the affairs of people hereabouts.

The scene of the conflagration was no sooner cold than the busy people set at work in rebuilding their stores and dwellings. The fire was a benefit to the town, for better buildings and straighter streets resulted from it; and the merchants soon forgot their losses in new profits. Experience has shown that it is impossible to give a death blow to any point of rendezvous of miners, or miners ' supplies, short of an exhaustion of the mines. Nevada is and was a great central point in the Northern mines, with arteries of business diverging from it in all directions. Business in it was too profitable to be abandoned, and therefore the people set at work like ants to rëestablish their ruined tenements.

~     ~     ~

In April, 1851, the first newspaper in Nevada County was started in this city, by Warren B. Ewer, now of the Grass Valley Telegraph, called the Nevada Journal. It was published semi weekly, and was one of the very first papers published in the mountains. It has flourished to the present under various proprietors, and has now a healthy circulation, job and advertising patronage. It was the only paper in the County for nearly two years and a half, when the Young America, now Democrat, was started in Nevada, in September, 1853, and about the same time the Telegraph at Grass Valley.

During the year 1851 a great excitement grew up in this neighborhood in reference to discoveries of gold in quartz. The hills upon Deer Creek, especially, were tunneled, and expensive machinery erected, to realize upon the hidden treasures. Some of the schemes were remunerative, but the great majority were miserable failures. Pretended assayers convinced gullible stockholders in quartz veins that their rock yielded from ten to fifty cents per pound, when the real value was perhaps nothing, receiving of course good pay from their grateful customers. Under the spur of such welcome information, hundreds made themselves poor by misapplied capital. The “Bunker Hill Co.” is an illustrious instance. They erected a costly mill upon Deer Creek, to use a certain roasting process that a favorite savant had recommended, by which they smelted the quartz in an immense furnace, expecting the gold to drop in a receiving chamber below. It is perhaps needles to say that they poked in vain in the ashes below for the oro. Believing the experiment had failed through intrinsic defects in its philosophy, and not that their ledge was destitute of gold, (for had not it been assayed with brilliant results?) the Company next erected stamps, to pound up the quartz in a more approved way. But, unluckily, the tailings were found to be very pure quartz, and the affair was a failure. Perhaps the inventor of the grand roasting process is to this day in doubt whether his bold experiment might not have succeeded had there only been gold in the quartz to fall into the receiver! The loss by the Company is computed at $85,000. The immense over-shot wheel of the “Bunker Hill Co.” at this day still adorns the Creek, a huge monument of the fortunes buried there. Requiescat in pace! [R.I.P.] Many other expensive establishments for quartz working were erected upon the Creek, with no better result. At the palmy time of quartz investments, doubts of great profits were deemed almost heretical; but in one short year, the delusion was over. However our enterprising neighbors of Grass Valley may have profited by such investments, they will have an uninterrupted enjoyment of them from the people of Nevada. In the midst of the quartz excitement, in October, 1851, some sceptical wits exhibited their wickedness by an amusing burlesque upon quartz operations in the columns of the Journal. The production occasioned inextinguishable laughter, at the time, even in the victims themselves, and we need not ask pardon for here introducing it, as its merits are too deeply ingrained to suffer materially from the lapse of time. Some of the personages who figure in the scheme will be recognised by old residents, and we premise that “Mount Olympus" signified Cayoteville:


Incorporated by special Legislative enactments of 1849 and '50-

(See page 1102 of Journal of Legislature of 1001 Drinks.)

Capital Stock, . . . . . . . . . . . $2,000,000.

PRESIDENT — Gen. Napoleon B. Gulliver.

TRUSTEES — Dr. G. Washington Crum, P. T. Barnum, Esq., George R. Glidden, Esq., Professor Espy, Don Quixotte Crawley, old Dr. Jacob Townsend, Moses Y. Beach, Magnus Rex Wemeh.

SECRETARY - Junius Quien Sabe.

TREASURER — J. Squander Swartwout.


PROSPECTING AND AMALGAMATING COMMITTEE — Guy Fawkes, Robinson Crusoe, Abby Kelly Folsom.

This Company claim 405 claims of sixty feet each, beginning at a blazed dogwood tree on the right bank of the river Styx, adjacent to the residence of Charon, the ferryman, extending to a large bee - gum on the left shore of the river Lethe, one half mile from the lake Avernus, beyond which no auriferous quartz has ever yet been discovered; with all the courses, dips, angles, sinuosities, variations and contorsions, thus distinctly embracing its perpendicular elongation and linear expansion. The Company have been thus explicit in defining their lead, in all its labyrinthine ramifications, owing to the vague uncertainty and transcendental obscurity which have involved individual rights, sacrificing wealth and enterprise upon the shrine of cupidity, and furnishing material for the wildest legal vagaries. The Company deem it necessary to prevent any infringement, invasion or encroachment on the part of the public, to give notice of the fact that a large Bohan Upas stands at the mouth of their tunnel, bearing this significant inscription— "Fugite canem, verbum sapienti est!” [runaway dog, a word to the wise.]

N. B. — No shares for sale in this tunnel. The lead has already been traced to a depth

“Nine times the space that measures night and day,

where gravitation shifting, turns the other way."

Skilful Siberian miners have been obtained at an immense expense, through the agency of one of our distinguished Board of Trustees, P. T. Barnum, Esq.

The laborers are enabled to carry on their work by the light of diamonds, which brilliantly illumine their vast excavations.

A new patent, with an Æolian attachment, has been introduced into the machinery, which is found to surpass any invention yet in use. The steam necessary to propel the machinery is obtained from a cistern placed upon lake Avernus : all expense of fuel is thus avoided.

Specimens of the lead may be seen at the office of Dr. Diabolus Pillgarlick, on Expansion street, where the obliging agent, Triptolemus Middlefunk, late of Mount Olympus, will give the most definite information in reference to auriferous quartz formations, and the most approved mode of pulverization.

By order of the Board of Trustees ,


N. B. — An assessment of three per centum on the capital stock of the company has been this day levied, to be expended in the purchase of a new gasometer.

So high ran the excitement upon which this capital burlesque was founded, that for a time it seemed to monopolize the interest of the community. Quartz stock, printed on flimsy paper, was quite current, as representing unknown wealth; wherever a quartz ledge peeped out of the ground, however innocent of gold, it was staked off by striving competitors; the advertising columns of the Journal were studded with advertisements of new companies, new assessments, new reports. But Mr. Junius Quien Sabe's effort was ahead of the times, as the almost general failures of a few months later proved. The first crash was the “Bunker Hill,” with its “Æolian attachment,” and the rest came tumbling after. "

~     ~     ~

The first building adapted to theatrical purposes in Nevada was the old “Dramatic Hall,” on the corner of Broad and Pine streets, and is still occasionally used. It was first used by Dr. Robinson and troupe, in June of that year; Miss Carpenter, Mrs. Mestayer, Fairchild and the Dr, were the principal attractions. It was the first amusement of the kind, and the company drew full houses for several weeks — the miners being too hungry for excitement to be very attentive to the quality of the performances. Tench S. Fairchild, now dead, poor fellow, was an extraordinary combination of brilliant talent, wit, sentiment, misdirected impulses, assurance, grace and good nature. He had been successively, in Illinois, printer's devil, law student, lecturer on temper ance, agent of the State Temperance Society, speaking before the

Legislature with great applause, editor of the Stato Temperance Organ, State Delegate to a World's Temperance Convention in London, clerk in a village post office, and crier at auctions. He ran a brief and splendid career in that State, more successful in avoiding fame than notoriety; he was master of a fervid eloquence, and the slave of his senses. In 1849 he emigrated hitherward, and took to the stage, upon which his wit and comic powers made him a favorite.

In 1851 he married Miss Carpenter, at Grass Valley, but did not long survive the wedding, dying at Sacramento of a constitution broken by intemperance, a few months after.

In August, 1851, Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Stark played for one night in Nevada; drew a full house, but were off the next morning.

Brutal amusements, called bull and bear fights, were frequent in 1851; and we regret to say, continued for several years, though it may be hoped the County will never be disgraced with another. The arena for this display, in 1851, was on Broad street, back of the present site of Hendrickson's brick building, and large crowds used to assemble to go away disappointed because the harrassed animals would not fight. Incipient riots occasionally grew out of the affairs; but no excessive demonstrations were made. In one of the earlier scenes of this kind, a large bear got loose from his bonds and scattered his keepers, who retreated at the outlets, closely pursued by the bear, but the doors were shut quick enough to imprison the animal in the arena. He then tried to scale the plank walls of the amphitheatre, and the crowded seats were at once vacated, except by C. F. Wood and Dr. Kendall, who beat the bear back with a shovel and a heavy cane as often as he got his paws within reach. They kept the bear at bay till he was lassoed by the Spaniards. The Dr. had a very hairy visage, and his exploit gave occasion to the remark of a wag, that in the midst of the fray Bruin looked up, caught sight of his shaggy antagonist, and succumbed, overpowered by the reflection, “Et tu Brute!"

In the summer of 1851, a new theatre was erected by C. Lovell and others over Deer Creek, on the lower line of Main street. It was a commodious and handsome building, and was opened on the 20th of November, by the Chapman family, who played in it for several weeks with tolerable success. The theatre proved ultimately to have a very insecure foundation.

On the third of the following March, an immense storm of wind, snow and rain swept over the country, submerging Sacramento and Marysville, carrying off a great many bridges on the mountain streams, and destroying many lives. Thirteen men out of a company of fifteen lost their lives on the Middle Yuba, while trying to save a floom. On Wednesday night the 3d of March, the storm changed from snow to rain, in Nevada, creating an immense rise of the water in Deer Creek. On Friday evening it was ascertained that the theatre, called the Jenny Lind, was in danger; and during the night a heavy drift log came in contact with the pillars on which it stood, taking some of them away, and materially disturbing the others. Early the next morning the Broad street bridge was carried off by the rushing waters. All the forenoon a large crowd were in waiting, expecting every moment to see the other bridge, the theatre and adjacent houses go down stream. At 12 o'clock a heavy log came in contact with the Main street bridge, which was immediately above the theatre, and took it from its foundation. The accumulated mass took the remaining props from under the theatre, and the building settled into the current, becoming almost instantly a total wreck, going down the foaming stream in fragments. The Illinois Boarding House adjoined the theatre, and shared its fate. The loss to the town and individuals was about $10,000. The peaceful character of the Creek the year before encouraged people to build over it, but the lots have been unoccupied since this catastrophe.

“Concert Hall,” now used for theatrical purposes, was built in September, 1853, as an assembly and concert-room, on Washington street, by L. P. Frisbie, but was subsequently arranged as a theatre. Many of the most celebrated stars ever in the State have trod its boards, —Waller, Murdoch, Stark, Madam Bishop, etc.

Early in the spring of 1851, certain wise men of the inhabitants of Nevada, having in view the dignities and emoluments of office, and little conception of the real wants of the place, after putting their heads together, without consulting the mass of the inhabitants, besieged the Legislature, and on the 13th of March procured the passage of an act incorporating the “City of Nevada.” By the city charter a magnificent array of officers were provided for the place — enough to govern a continent. The people were given over to the mercies of “ one Mayor, ten Alder men, one Recorder, one Treasurer, one Assessor, one Clerk, one Attorney and one Marshal, ” with provision for an indefinite number of other inferior officers. The election took place in April, the people selected out of a crowd of candidates, and the city was soon in the full tide of unsuccessful experiment. The authorities ran the city heedlessly in debt. Perhaps it could not be otherwise, with so many salaries to pay. A less expensive organization might have been beneficial, but this was too heavy a burden. The people in a few months petitioned the officers to resign, and the Legislature of 1852 repealed the charter, after it had accomplished exactly eleven months of existence. I.[Isaac] Williamson was appointed as commissioner to wind up the affairs of the city, and it appeared by his report, dated April 3rd, there was a debt remaining at that time of $8,051.17, while the city assets were worth about $750.00. Pretty well for one small town in about six months of actual administration. Most of the old city debt remains unpaid to this day, the Court of Sessions failing to order a special tax to pay it off; and it is highly probable that it will remain unpaid for a long while to come. Some few of the city officers made a good thing of the matter. The Recorder, for instance, was mistaken by hundreds of miners as an officer elected to record mining claims, and these brought their notices to be recorded, he charging fees that would excite the admiration of a county clerk in these degenerate days. But the whole organization was a reckless and stupid experiment, unnecessary and impracticable.

An incident in the history of Nevada, in 1852, was the fire on the 7th of September. An alarm was raised at 3 o'clock in the morning, at the National Hotel, at the foot of Broad and Main streets. The fire accidentally originated in the kitchen, and almost instantaneously the whole house was in a blaze. The inmates fled in their night clothes, and so rapidly spread the flames that it was with difficulty all escaped. The fire spread to Adams & Co.'s building, on one side, and the Deer Creek Hotel on the other, prostrating other buildings till it was stayed by the Creek. Twelve buildings were consumed. An illustration of how often man mistakes what is best for himı was afforded by this fire. It is altogether beyond doubt that the entire city would have been destroyed by this conflagration had not the Jenny Lind theatre and the buildings contiguous to it been carried off by the spring freshet. At the time of the latter accident it was much felt and regretted; but no human power could have restrained the fire from crossing over to Main street, had the buildings on the Creek, forming a continuous chain, not been removed. Thus partial evils often work general good.

December, of 1852, was an exceedingly stormy month. Snow and rain alternated nearly every day. The roads are almost impassable for teams, and provisions were so scarce and high in Nevada and the surrounding country that fears were entertained of a famine. The trade of this region was almost entirely diverted from Sacramento to Marysville, as the latter was most accessible. Merchants, intimidated by the experience of the previous year, had not laid in heavy stocks, while a flour monopoly at San Francisco added to the distress. Flour on the 31st of December sold in Nevada for $40 per cwt., with little in the market. Fresh beef for 40 cents retail, and 35 cents “standing;” potatoes for 15 cents; freight from Sacramento or Marysville was 10 cents; board was $16 per week at all the hotels except one, which charged $12, But the weather cleared up in January, and a prosperous harvest for the miner repaired the losses of the season. The principal scene of mining at the time at Nevada was the old Cayote range, which, after being worked by shafts and tunnels, was now sluiced to the bed-rock by a newly-discovered process, since greatly in use. Old drifts and timbers, originally fifty and seventy-five feet below the surface, were laid bare, and many places were found to pay immensely, where the original workers had been deceived by an appearance of bed rock, and left the claims, when four or five feet further penetration would have richly paid them.

The difference between mining in 1850 and 1852 was striking. Operations of every day occurrence in the latter year, and since, would have dismayed the old pioneers. Persons who left in 1850, and returned in 1852, found the march of improvement had made their notions of mining ridiculous. Pans, rockers, and even "long toms," were no longer of use. There was no longer a mere scratching over the surface. One man washed as much dirt as ten could before, and saved more gold. Tunnels, water - ways through rock, perpendicular shafts a hundred feet deep, water conveyed for miles through flooms, etc., marked the progress of the times. It is a singular fact that miners in a very short time seemed to grasp what was required in the way of improvement and with the exception of the hydraulic hose, now in use, there has been no marked improvement in mining since 1852.

The first brick building erected in Nevada was by H.[Hamlet] Davis, on Broad street, a fine two-story structure, in September, 1853. In the same year water was introduced in lead pipes to all the houses and stores by two companies, one obtaining its water at Gold Flat, the other from the Cayote Hills. During the year, the hills around the city began to be dotted with pretty residences; many families settled here, and society greatly increased in pleasantness.

The "Alta California Telegraph Company" constructed its line from Sacramer to to Nevada in 1853, and on the 5th of October, for the first time, intelligence was flashed over the wires. A telegraph to Downieville was finished in November, 1855.

In 1853 Nevada petitioned the County Court for an order of incorporation. The petition was granted, and a town government has existed to the present time to the benefit of the place and with the approbation of the people. At the October term of the District Court for Nevada County, in 1855, J. R. McConnell, the Attorney General, filed an information against the people of said town, for the usurpation of incorporate privileges, and a writ of quo warranto issued. The case will probably go to the Supreme Court, and at this writing we are not aware of its final disposition ,

On Wednesday, November 28th, a destructive fire broke out on Main street, just above the junction with Commercial, in a wooden building used as a boarding house. Nine buildings were burned, at a loss of $6,000. Only the most determined exertions of citizens prevented an extensive ravage of the town.

The experience of Nevada in fires had not yet closed. On the 20th of February, 1855, a fire devastated the whole range of buildings on Broad street, between the two Methodist churches, destroying fifteen houses and damaging others. The loss was about $40,000.

We shall not dwell upon the many minor incidents that have transpired during the years 1854 and 1855, as, though some of them may be interesting, they possess nothing distinctive in character. Nevada has now many fino brick buildings, a large and increasing trade, and an upward tendency. A few years have developed a flourishing city in the heart of a wilderness. Here where the rude savage listlessly wandered six years ago, are now the haunts of civilized life. Schools and churches have sprung up, the delights of enlightened society, the hum ot busy industry. The pioneers of Nevada, who yet remain to see its prosperity, may well felicitate themselves in being the founders of a growing and permanent city.

We close this sketch of Nevada by remarking that there are two Masonic Lodges, an Odd Fellow's Lodge, a Chapter of Masonry, two Sons of Temperance Divisions, and an Order of Templars, now in Nevada, and all flourishing. The vote of Nevada, cast in the September election of 1855, was 1386.

~     ~     ~

GRASS VALLEY. — Our materials for a sketch of this interesting town are much more scanty than we could desire. It is the second place of importance in Nevada County, with an enterprising population, and a growing prosperity, despite a recent calamity by which it was almost entirely destroyed.

The chain of valleys of which Grass Valley is one of the largest and best located, extends from "Greenhorn Creek," just above what is known as “Buena Vista Ranch,” in a southwesterly course nearly twelve miles, and embraces in its meanderings much very fine arable land, an ample supply of the best of water, and quantities of pine and oak timber. A portion of the emigration that came over the plains in 1819, by the Truckee route, were the first settlers. The worn out and famished cattle belonging to emigrants who had encamped at or near the junction of Steep Hollow Creek with Bear River, wandered off for food, and were found, after considerable search, living luxuriantly on good grass in the valley from which the town took its name. Being so good a camping ground the valley became a kind of oasis for many emigrants, some eight or ten of whom in September, 1849, built cabins on Boston Ravine, an half mile below the commenced mining there. In December of the same year a Boston company of four persons came to the ravine, and were very successful miners until the water gave out in the spring of 1850, when they left. A gentleman named Baldwin, a law student, was the principal person of the company. The ravine was named by this company.

Early in November, 1849, Samuel and George Holt and James Walsh came with wagons, tools, machinery, etc., to a place about four miles below Grass Valley for the purpose of erecting two saw mills — the one by the Messrs. Holt, a water mill, and Judge Walsh's, a steam mill. Mr. Zenas Wheeler was of the party, and two others. The Holts finished their mill in March, 1850, and were sawing lumber on the 3d of May. While working in the mill they were attacked by Indians, of whom there were a great many in the vicinity.

We are informed that as many as seven hundred men and as many women attended their annual meetings or dances. The elder Holt (Samuel) was pierced and at once killed by their arrows. George Holt escaped with life, fighting eight or ten Indians up the hill between the two mills, with only a small pocket knife in his hands, and fell into the arms of Judge Walsh covered with blood and wounded in thirteen places with arrows. Only three of the company were at home at the time of the attack, Mr. Wheeler having gone below for the engine, and two others to the Yuba. The property was plundered and burnt the night after the attack on the Holts, and the camp of Judge Walsh was threatened. The Indians kept up an indescribable howling all night, and raised fires all over the hills. But the tenants of the camp were well armed with old U. S. muskets, and with the help of a fine dog named “ Brutus, ” of which the Indians were peculiarly shy, kept them at bay. “Brutus," for his courage and watchfulness was worth five soldiers; he would seize an Indian by the throat who was too obtrusive, and in divers ways evinced that he was a dog for the occasion. We will not dismiss him without remarking that he is still a resident of Grass Valley, is a mixture of Newfoundland and terrier, and, resting upon his early well - earned laurels, is of a very pacific disposition. A few friendly Indians gave their assistance during the night, and Capt. Day, (present County Surveyor,) and another man came in on noticing the fires and disorder. Old chief Wemeh behaved very well in the matter, gave the party his countenance and furnished the guard of friendly Indians. He also brought the dead body of Ilolt to the camp, and in all things was friendly, so far as could be observed. The next morning Capt. Day and his friend started for camp “Far West,” on Johnson's ranch at Bear River; and the morning after, twenty-four U. S. soldiers arrived, supplied by Major Day, commanding at that station. A hundred miners from Deer Creek also poured in, and in a couple of days they had killed and run off all the Indians. Mr. G. Holt was removed to Stocking's store on Deer Creek, and recovered in ten days. He afterwards went to mining on Deer Creek, below Nevada.

A less cause than these Indian troubles influenced the State to issue $600,000 war bonds for the El Dorado and Mariposa Indian wars, but we believe the Legislature refused Messrs. Walsh and Holt anything for their losses and their services. Perhaps it was because they did not resort to the modus operandi they secured the success of many legislative acts.

Judge Walsh removed to Grass Valley, where he built a saw mill in July, 1850. Among the early settlers were Z. Wheeler, C. W. Wood, B. C. Lamarque, F. Squire, Fowler and others. The first cabin built on Main street, Grass Valley, was by a man named Scott, nearly opposite where the Grass Valley Hotel stood before the fire. The first hotel was built by J. B. Underwood, called “The Mountain Home.”

As late as January, 1851, there were but three or four cabins in Grass Valley proper. Shortly after, the population increased rapidly, and an attempt was made by the people to change the name to Centerville, as there were so many places known as Grass Valley it was difficult to have letters properly sent. The growth of Grass Valley in 1851 was most remarkable. Probably no town in the State has ever sprung so suddenly into importance. Much of this was owing to an excitement in reference to quartz mining, then in full operation.

The first piece of gold bearing quartz was picked up on Gold Hill, in September, 1850, by a German, who disturbed it with his foot while carrying a bucket of water. The piece was sold by him to F. Squire for five dollars, and proved to be worth one hundred. Several of the miners of the neighborhood, and a good many from Deer Creek, immediately went on to the hill and broke up the pieces of quartz which lay exposed, but as they found nothing, the excitement died away till the first of November, when a party - of whom James Huff was one — in getting out rock for the chimney for a cabin they were building on Gold Hill, struck a quartz ledge, where it was rich. Claims were immediately staked off, and men began to pound the quartz in mortars with spring poles. Huff's company took out about $20,000 in this way during the winter and spring. The first quartz mill was built in January, 1851, on Wolf Creek, nearly opposite the present Empire Mill, by two Germans, for Mr. J. Wright, Jr. The building still stands. The mill (a water mill) was a small affair and not successful, but it was the second one built in the State, the first mill being built in 1850, in Mariposa county, which also proved a failure. Grass Valley claims the first successful quartz mills in California. In the winter of 1850 and ‘51, Messrs. Sowers, Abby & Ridgell, built a small steam mill. In the spring of 1851 Judge Walsh erected a quartz mill, which he afterwards sold to Collins & Crossett, which mill has always paid. The Gold Hill Company about a month after commenced the erection of a mill, and Judge Walsh another one still later. An English company, called the "Agua Frio," bought or leased the interest of the proprietors in the mills and leads, in August, 1853, and still conduct the business under the superintendence of Messrs. Hepburn and Atwood. The new “Helvetia” mill was erected by Conway & Preston in the fall of 1851, and it is now working profitably. Col. Richardson erected one in the summer of 1851. Th “ Mount George ” mill was erected about the same time. In 1852 the "French Company” erected a mill, the "Rocky Bar Mining Company," and Jas. Winchester, in the same year. The latter has been used only for lumber, though originally designed for quartz. The “Union Company” constructed a mill in 1853, but the lead was abandoned and the mill removed.

The first quartz mining was on Gold Hill; the next on Massachusetts Hill, where the first claims were taken up in December, 1850, by A. Delano, generally known as “ Old Block. ” We believe the “chips” did not suit him; so he turned his attention to expressing for Wells, Fargo & Co., in which position he occasionally expresses the ideas that have made him so generally known in the State.

There is more machinery at work in Grass Valley district than in any equal extent of territory in the county, if not in the State, outside of the cities. There are a number of excellent saw-mills, and the lumber trade is extensive, and an excellent flouring mill, but the place is probably more noted for quartz mining than for anything else. The quartz men of Grass Valley have shown their "faith by works," in an unwavering pertinacity of adhering to a once dubious branch of business through immense expense and apparently insurmountable difficulties. During the year 1852, owing to the water in the hills, a large expense was incurred to drain the claims; and taking the entire revenue and expenses for the year, not a dollar was made out of the business.better encouragements, and the business has been good, with little fluctuation, ever since.

But 1853 gave October 20, 1851, we had occasion to remark of Grass Valley: “We think of but one town of Upper California (San José) which will compare in pleasantness with Grass Valley. The dwellings among the trees, the gentle swelling of the hills, the beautiful broad valleys, and the air of mixed primitiveness and business bustle, all go to make up a delightful spot."

In addition to all this, the heavy pulsations of the many quartz mills that are tirelessly laboring day and night, save on the Sabbath, give an air of permanence and solidity to the town unlike the many ephemeral, mine - created towns that have arisen, prospered, and become deserted in California within a few years. The improvements taking place in Grass Valley are all of a solid nature : handsome houses are being erected, and stores with heavy stocks of goods are being prepared for the coming winter. There are many families already settled in the town, and more are coming, and when the pleasant, harmonizing influences of female society are more largely added to Grass Valley, the sun will not shine on a more desirable residence.

“The miracles that enterprise can accomplish have no better example than at this town. Two or three years ago the echoes of its woods were awakened only by the wild cry of bird and beast, or of the almost equally wild and degraded Indian. The riches of its ravines first attracted notice, then the treasure locked up in quartz, requiring skill and energy to obtain it. The demand created the supply, and, as the result, powerful machinery is in motion, a permanent town grown up, and the wilderness has changed to a cheerful and crowded haunt of men. We have frequently visited the quartz mills of Grass Valley, but never without a renewed impression that, without stir or ostentation, in the midst of mountains, and far from the theatre of former achievements, a work has been going on which in rapidity of execution, grandness of result, and above all in practical usefulness, throws into the shade many which have been boasted as the trophies of centuries.”

In placer mining, Grass Valley has not been behind many other prominent localities. The present prospects are, that both quartz and placer mining will be there as permanent as elsewhere. It has a peaceful and laborious population, and, though the recent fire has entailed much individual loss, as a community, it continues to advance.

The first ditch that supplied Grass Valley with water was the “Centreville," dug in the fall and winter of 1850, by Ormsby and others, taking the water of Wolf Creek. The second was in the fall of 1851, from the same source, by Day, Fouse & Co. “Murphy's ditch” was dug by Murphy, O'Connor & Co., in 1851; the "Empire ditch," in 1852, by Whiting, and others, both from Wolf creek and its branches. The “Union Ditch” was constructed in 1852, by Phelps & Goephart, from Little Deer Creek.

The “Grass Valley Slide” is the site of good deep diggings immediately north of the town, and within the corporate limits. The lead was discovered in the fall of 1851, by Mathew Petter. Much excitement attended its discovery. It is now being washed from the surface down, by hydraulic hose. West of this, on the opposite side of a ravine, is the “Alta Hill” lead, much richer than the “Slide,” upon which one shaft is sunk 210 feet, and worked with profit. North-west of the town are two other deep leads — the Lola Montez and Jenny Lind. East of the town, is a deep lead known as “Howard Hill;" the three latter cannot be worked for want of water.

The first brick building was built by Adams & Co., in the fall of 1854, a handsome two-story building. There are now many handsome brick buildings in the town, taking the place of the wooden ones, destroyed by the recent fire.

The first sermon preached in Grass Valley, by an ordained minister, was in September, 1849, by Rev. Isaac Owen, on a ridge of ground on the northern portion of what is now known as Clark's ranch. Mr. Owen, having been appointed a missionary of the M. E. Church to California in 1848, prior to a knowledge of the discovery of gold here, crossed the plains in 1849, and on the Sabbath alluded to, preached to a congregation consisting of the persons constituting the “train,” together with a few miners who, at that time, had commenced to work on Deer Creek.

The M. E. C. South was the first organized religious body in Grass Valley. Its first pastor, Rev. Mr. Blythe, arrived in Ne. vada in September, 1851, where, as well as in Grass Valley, he commenced his labours. Under his care, the funds were collected by which "Paine Chapel" was built, the present house of worship of that Church. The society was organized in the fall of 1851, and the church was dedicated in the spring of 1852.

The M. E. Church, though not regularly organized until Jan. 10th, 1852, was supplied with ministerial services by Rev. A. Bland, who arrived in Nevada in September, 1851, and who preached in Grass Valley and Rough and Ready each alternate Sabbath, until Rev. R. R. Dunlap was appointed to the charge at the time of the organization alluded to. In the following May, Mr. Dunlap was succeeded by Rev. J. D. Bland, by whose efforts a building, previously used for school purposes, was purchased and enlarged for the Methodist society; and which continued in their possession until the summer of 1854, when it was given to the town for a school house, and the present church, one every way superior, was erected.

The Presbyterian Church was next organized, though it has since been disorganized, and now has only an existence in history. Rev. Mr. Blake, its pastor, arrived in Grass Valley in November, 1851, and, after preaching a while in his own house, succeeded in erecting the present district school house, which was used both for school purposes and a preaching place. In March, 1852, the society was then organized, and continued its religious services regularly until the removal of Mr. Blake, when the building was purchased by the Methodist Church, and when also the Church ceased to be.

The Congregational Church was supplied with ministerial service in March, 1853, by its present pastor, Rev. J. D. Hale. He preached in the Masonic Hall till October of same year, when the present commodious church was finished, and the Church organized.

The Roman Catholic Church was built in the fall of 1853, under the charge of Father McClanahan, who officiated also in Nevada.

The African M. E. Church was built in the fall of 1854, and is a very neat building, reflecting credit upon that portion of the population for whose benefit, and by whose efforts it was erected. They have no regular preacher.

The Episcopal Church was organized during the summer of 1855, under the title of “Emanuel Church.” Rev. W. Hill was the officiating clergyman, who also officiated at Nevada. Services were held in the Masonic Hall till it was destroyed by fire, since which time they have been discontinued, in consequence cf M.. Hill's departure for New York.

The orders of Masons, Odd Fellows, and Sons of Temperance, exist at Grass Valley. During the past year, a town government has been instituted, though we believe no “lerge official” has filed an information against it. Grass Valley is noted for being selected as the residence of the notorious Lola Montez for somewhat over a year, up to her recent departure for Australia. Here she displayed her many eccentricities to the amusement of some, and disgust of more of the inhabitants. She lived in a pretty little cottage on Mill street, surrounded by pet bears, dogs, birds and flowers; and produced, out of the hard mountain soil, a perfect little paradise. Since her departure, the flowers have missed her tender care, and the spot looks dreary "where once a garden smiled."

An excitement, quite out of the usual current of affairs, occurred at Grass Valley on the 16th of June, 1855, resulting from an attempt of one Wm. Fitzgerald to fire the town. As G. W. Foster, a watchman, was going his rounds, about 2 o'clock; A. M., and had arrived on Mill street, he noticed a light flash in an unoccupied building, near the centre of the street.

He went to a window and looked in, and saw the culprit setting fire to the building with matches. He waited till Fitzgerald had set the cloth lining on fire, and caught him as he emerged from the door. The citizens soon assembled, and extinguished the fire. Various counsels prevailed among the people, and a very large number were in favor of immediately hanging the prisoner. He was finally yielded to the authorities, and, at the following term of the District Court, was sent to the State prison for a term of eight years. By a timely second thought, Grass Valley was saved the guilt and disgrace of a lynch murder, and the incendiary was adequately punished.

On the 13th September, 1855, Grass Valley was visited by one of the most destructive conflagrations in the annals of the State. After luckily escaping for several years an element that had devastated almost every other town of importance in the State, its turn at length came, and in an hour and a half, literally the whole town was destroyed. In this short space of time, thirty acres, covered with nearly three hundred buildings, were covered with ashes. Little property was saved, the owners being glad to escape with their lives. The fire originated in the United States Hotel in the night time, and destroyed property to the value of about $350,000. The fire was distinctly seen for miles around, and drew a crowd of people from the neighboring towns, who, however, could render no assistance. It was a most magnificent spectacle at night — but the next morning was correspondingly — dismal. The indefatigable people, however, at once set at work, and the town now exhibits few traces of the destruction that swept over it. The fire fortunately occurred at a season of the year when little suffering could be occasioned by the weather, The vote of Grass Valley at the September election, 1855, was 879.

~     ~     ~

ROUGH AND READY.— This pleasant little town is situated about four miles below Grass Valley, in Rough and Ready township, and was one of the earliest places settled in the county. The first settlers in the vicinity of the town were Capt. A. A. Townsend and Rev. Mr. Pope, of Iowa; Putnam and Carpenter, of New York; and Peter Vanmetre, Holt, Colgrove, Hardy, Dunn and Richards, of Wisconsin. This company of men crossed the plains together, and arrived at the place now called Rough and Ready, on the 9th of September, 1849. The company styled themselves the “Rough and Ready Co.," in honor of Capt. Townsend, who served under Gen. Taylor, with much honor, in the Winnebago war. The company immediately commenced the erection of the first house ever built in that vicinity. It was a substantial double log cabin, eighteen by thirty-six feet, and overlooking the place where the town is now situated, being on the hill north of Main ravine. From this company, the town derived its name.

An abundance of rain fell that fall and winter, hence the company had a favorable time for their mining operations. The rocker, or cradle, was used, being the best mode then known for obtaining the precious metal. The company was exceedingly successful in working the virgin earth. They not unfrequently realized from three to six hundred dollars per day from the labor of three men.

Sixteen hands were employed in the company, and, in Blue and Red ravines, they averaged, for six weeks, a pound of gold to the hand. The company for a long time kept their diggings secret, and spread their claims all over the neighborhood, even taking up ravines that did not pay, in order to keep strangers at a distance. Whenever miners came into the neighborhood to prospect or work, the company would go and claim the ground, and thus kept a monopoly of the whole region for several months.

In the fall of 1849, the famous “Randolph Co.," composed of men chiefly from Randolph and Howard counties, Missouri, among whom were William Gambrel and Dr. Lewis, came to Rough and Ready. This Company located a portion of the ground that the Rough and Ready Co. claimed, near the present town, and for a time it was likely to result in serious consequences between the two parties. But a compromise was finally brought about — the ground amicably divided - after which the two Companies were on very friendly terms. The Randolph Company built their cabins, one of which is still standing, at the head of the Flat, opposite to the site of the present Randolph Exchange. This company was also very successful in mining operations. Townsend and Vanmetre, of the Rough and Ready Company, left for the Atlantic States about the last of February, in 1850, and arrived safe at home on the 26th of April with $15,000 in gold dust. They remained at home a short time, but unsatisfied with their first venture, made up another company of eight men. They arrived at Rough and Ready on the 10th of September; but great was their surprise to discover a town built up, where, in February previous, only three tents, aside from their cabin, could be seen.

In the fall of 1849 a Mr. Riddle, a Scotchman, who emigrated from South America to California, came to Rough and Ready, bringing his wife - the first lady in the place. She used to bring the dinner of her husband, and rock the cradle as he eat it, and it was a common remark that she was far more successful in getting the gold than he was. As soon as she left, the luck went with her.

There were only a few scattering cabins in Rough and Ready until April, 1850; at that time the town began to grow rapidly, and in October was thrice its present size. Want of an adequate supply of water, and partial exhaustion of the diggings, dispersed many of the people after that time to other localities. Many buildings were taken down and removed to the plains, and the place seemed in danger of total destruction. A nucleus of business remained, however, and in spite of a subsequent destructive fire, Rough and Ready is now prosperous, being the third town in population and business in the county.

The first frame house was built by Rev. Mr. Dunlevy, in 1850, and is still standing, occupied by Major Wood. The lumber was brought from Grass Valley, and cost $200 per thousand at the mill.

The first temporary church organization took place in the fall of 1850, and was called the “Christian Association,” being composed of members of different denominations. This association numbered about eighty members, and was perfectly harmonious in its operations — the stand being occupied alternately by preachers of different persuasions. They occupied a building which stood on a point east of the town, and for which they paid eight hundred dollars. It was, however, a mere shed, made of rough clapboards, was eighteen by twenty - five feet, had neither door, ( that was hung, ) windows or floors, save the ground. A few rough puncheons were used as apologies for seats. Yet the word of God was proclaimed with as much earnestness as though "through a long-drawn aisle and fretted vault." A church now occupied by the Methodist Society was commenced in the fall of 1853, and dedicated in the following March. It is embellished with an excellent bell — (no pun is intended.) Rev. Mr. Hill, of the M. E. Church at Grass Valley, preaches once each Sunday in this church. The first school at Rough and Ready was organized in 1853, by Miss Franklin.

The Rough and Ready ditch was commenced in January, 1851, and brought in the water of Slate Creek in February, and of Deer Creek in April, over a route thirteen miles in length - a dispatch probably unequalled in the State.

On Tuesday, June 28th, 1853, at three o'clock in the morning, a destructive fire broke out in Rough and Ready, in the house of Mr. Brondage, and spread rapidly through the wooden buildings. Forty stores, hotels and houses were burned. The business part of the town was almost entirely destroyed. The fire resulted from carelessness — a person placed a lighted candle too near a cloth partition when he went to sleep. The loss was estimated at $59,700. The people at once rebuilt the town, widening the main street, putting up handsomer and better buildings.

Rough and Ready has a quiet, orderly population, and the even tenor of its ways is seldom disturbed by excitements. The Odd Fellows, Masons and Sons of Temperance have each an organization in the place. The vote cast at the September election of 1855 was 304.

Source: and Internet Archive.

Brown & Dallison's Nevada, Grass Valley and Rough and Ready directory,

For the year commencing January 1, 1856,

Embracing a general directory of citizens, with an historical sketch of Nevada County

by A. A. Sargent Esq. and an appendix of general information appertaining to these towns.

Compiled and published by Nat. P. Brown and John K. Dallison. Printed in San Francisco, 1856

Background Image
Nevada City in March 1855, published by Cook & Coburn.
Source: Stanford University Libraries, Barry Lawrence Ruderman Map Collection.
Home | History | Maps | Ditches | Books | About
Copyright ©, 2023. All Rights Reserved.