Nevada County Historical Society

About Us

The Nevada County Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to celebrating and preserving the history of Nevada County, California.

The 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 Firehouse No. 1 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.

Our Programs​

Board of Directors Meetings

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 4:00 pm and all interested parties are invited to attend.

Membership Meetings & Speaker Night Programs
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.

Providence Mine, Nevada City

Photo of NCHS Board of Directors in 2023.

Back Row: Dom Lindars, Brittany Fischer, Cathy Wilcox-Barnes, Desmond Gallagher, Jeffrey Boylan and Gary Kisor.

Seated: Pat Chesnut, Brita Rozynski, Daniel Ketcham and David Bard.

Who We Are

Executive Board:
President: Daniel Ketcham
Treasurer: David Bard
Executive Secretary: Amy Bianchini

Firehouse No. 1 Museum: Cathy Wilcox-Barnes
North Star Mining Museum: Jeffrey Boylan
NCNG Railroad Museum: John Christensen
Searls Historical Library: Pat Chesnut
Books: Desmond Gallagher
Membership & Website: Dom Lindars
Public Relations: Brittany Fischer
Bulletin Editor: Linda Jack
Archivist: Gary Kisor
Director at Large: Steve Fry
Director at Large: Brita Rozynski

Standing Committee Chairs:
Finance: By committee
Fundraising: vacant
Nomination: Daniel Ketcham
History Center: Daniel Ketcham

Special Committee Chairs:
Hospitality: Desmond Gallagher
Awards/Citizen of the Year: David Bard
Constitution & Bylaws: Linda Jack
Volunteer Picnic: Committee
Sunshine: Brita Rozynski