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 Nevada County California

Nevada County. Organized in 1851. Bounded north by Yuba and Sierra, east by the State of Nevada, south and southeast by Placer, and west by Yuba. Area, 1,026 square miles. Assessed valuation of property, $8,684,078.

County seat, Nevada. Principal towns, Columbia Hill, Cherokee, Lake City, Moore's Flat, North Bloomfield, North San Juan, Omega, Rough and Ready, and Truckee.

The predominating resource is mineral, the gold mines of the county having been and continuing to be the most productive in the State. Copper mines of undoubted value exist, but have not been made profitable. The county comprises a section of the Sierra from well down the eastern slope to the western base, and two-thirds of its surface was originally covered with forests of pine, fir and oak. These forests constitute an important source of wealth, the manufacture of lumber employing a large capital and a great number of men. The wealth of the mines of Nevada overshadow its agricultural interests, yet this resource is of incalculable importance.

The lower section, from the altitude of 2,300 feet, contains much arable land, and produces large crops of cereals and the most delicate fruits, while the hardier fruits and vegetables find congenial soil and climate to an elevation of 5,000 feet. Several high ridges project from the great dorsal column of the Sierra, composed of volcanic ash and glacial drift, peculiarly favorable for the production of wines, and being generally fertile, return a large increase for whatever is planted. The future prospect of Nevada, and the same may be said of every county on the western slope of the Sierra, enriched by orchards of every fruit, and vines of every variety. Is very bright indeed, and such productive agriculture, aided by inexhaustible mines of precious metals, give assurance of a wealth unparalleled in any country.

At Nevada City the cultivation of the mulberry and the growing of the silkworm has been conducted very successfully by Mr, E. Muller, who has thus demonstrated the vast area of country in which silk can be produced. Throughout the foothills of the Sierra are many ravines, valleys and hillsides where, by irrigation, the rich, warm soil produces trees with luxuriant foliage, and with a climate most favorable of all the world for the propagation of the silkworm; and in this extended region, should families devote but a slight portion of their time to the care of the silkworm, an important source of wealth would be added to the country. At North Bloomfield is one of the most extensive mining operations in the State.

Through Nevada the glacial drift is deeper, clearer, and better defined, apparently, perhaps because better explored than elsewhere throughout the western slope of the Sierra. The ridge between the South and Middle Yubas is distinguished for its vast and almost continuous line of gravel hills, extending from the highest elevation of these deposits to the Blue Gravel mine at Smartsville at the base of the mountains. Including the mining districts of Eureka, Moore's and Woolsey Flats, Humbug, North Bloomfield, Columbia Hill, Chimney Hill, Badger Hill, Cherokee, North San Juan, Manzanita Hill, Sweetland's, French Corrall, Sucker Flat and Smartsville. At these various places the deposits of gravel are from 100 to 400 feet in depth, sometimes clear and easily washed by hydraulic from top to bottom, but often with strata of cemented gravel, of pipe clay and volcanic matter, which require blasts of from one hundred to two thousand kegs of powder at a time to loosen, that It may be washed away. A deep channel way is of course required to carry the fallen mass and water through, and to prepare these constitutes the chief expense in opening one of these mines. The North Bloomfield Mining Company own about 1,300 acres of the deep gravel range about Humbug and Malakoff, and for a channel way to wash it have constructed a tunnel of about two miles in length from the canon of the South Yuba to the channel of their range. The tunnels, ditches and mines of this Company have cost about $2,000,000, and it is not yet developed into a paying property, but with the vast amount of gravel which cannot be removed in half a century's washing, the ultimate return will undoubtedly be enormous. This being one of the greatest placer mining operations in the State, is specially mentioned, and its success will direct capital to the opening of numerous other gravel ranges, of which there are a great many like this throughout the mountains. This long, continuous ridge, or steps of channel deposits, from the high Sierra to the plains near Smartsville, throughout having similar gravel and gold, give positive contradiction to the theory of an ancient Dead Blue River, flowing from north to south, leaving the gold region of today as a mark of its pathway. The topographical features of the county are high lateral ridges of the main chain between which, in deep canons, flow rapid streams.

The Middle and South Yubas are in the northern part, Deer Creek runs through the center, and Bear River forms the southern boundary. Near the summit are several lakes and picturesque valleys, and on the southern slope is Donner Lake, one of the sources of Truckee River. The Central Pacific Railroad runs through the southeastern portion of the county, and roads of the best character, constructed at great expense, interlace it throughout.

Officers: John Caldwell, County Judge; John Pattison, Clerk and Auditor; E. H. Gaylord, District Attorney; George W. Smith, Sheriff; Leopold Garthe, Recorder; Elmer P. Sanford, Tax Collector and Treasurer; John T. Morgan, Assessor: Daniel B. Merry, Surveyor; William C. Groves, Coroner; William B. Campbell, Public Administrator; Frank Power, Superintendent Public Schools.

California Gazetteer | AHGP California

Source: Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875


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