The Nevada County Historical Society had its beginning in the fall of 1944 after being inspired by Dr. Robert E. Burns, President of the College of the Pacific. Dr. Burns was interested in the preservation of the history of the Mother Lode and gold country, and he spoke to the Grass Valley Lions Club about organizing a county historical society. Soon afterwards another meeting was held for more people who were interested, after which a constitution and by-laws were adopted. The objective of the new organization as stated in its constitution was to preserve every source of Nevada County history.
The new society began with 48 members, and dues were a dollar a year! Monthly programs were planned to entertain and educate members, and the committee chairmen and groups formed the foundation of the society by collecting, displaying, and preserving the memorabilia of the county. The No. 1 Firehouse Museum in Nevada City, the North Star Mining Museum in Grass Valley, and Searls Historical Library in Nevada City were opened to locals and tourists alike. The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum opened in Nevada City during May, 2003.
In March 1948 the first newsletter of the Historical Society was published, which contained small notices about Nevada County history. These were 5 by 8 inches, and were published until 1976. From that date to the present, the newsletter evolved into a quarterly Bulletin, usually an 8 page issue on some historical topic. Now the newsletter, also quarterly, is sent out at the same time. The newsletter informs members about monthly programs, special events, and news from the museums and Searls Historical Library.
The Board of Directors Meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at the Historical Society’s new building at 161 Nevada City Hwy, Nevada City. Meetings begin at 5:00 pm and all interested parties are invited to attend.
These fun and informative programs are held the third Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm, in the Ryosa Hall of the Sierra Presbyterian Church, located at 175 Ridge Rd, Nevada City. Free of charge. These programs are regularly announced in the local media and can also be found posted on our Coming Events page. All interested parties are invited to attend. Refreshments are usually served following the general membership meetings.
Back Row: Pat Chesnut, David Bard, Cathy Wilcox-Barnes, Linda Jack, Steve Fry and Desmond Gallagher. Front Row: Brita Rozynski, Madelyn Helling, Carolyn Jones-Rogers, Daniel Ketcham and Wally Hagaman. Missing: Rudy Cisar and John Christensen
President: Daniel Ketcham
Vice-President: Carolyn Jones-Rogers
Executive Secretary: Linda Jack
Treasurer: David Bard
Firehouse No. 1 Museum: Wally Hagaman
North Star Mining Museum: Rudy Cisar
NCNG Railroad Museum: John Christensen
Searls Historical Library: Pat Chesnut
Books: Desmond Gallagher
Director at Large: Steve Fry
Director at Large: Brita Rozynski
Director at Large: Cathy Wilcox-Barnes
Standing Committee Chairs:
Finance: By committee
Public Relations: Recruiting
Programs & Events: Carolyn Jones-Rogers
Nomination: Daniel Ketcham & Madelyn Helling
History Center: Daniel Ketcham, David Bard, Pat Chesnut, Verne Taylor & Steve Fry
Special Committee Chairs:
Hospitality: Desmond Gallagher
Awards/Citizen of the Year: David Bard
Constitution & Bylaws: Linda Jack
Volunteer Picnic: Linda Ketcham
Sunshine: Brita Rozynski