The red and gold leaves still cling to the trees around Empire Mine as Cornish carolers serenade swarming crowds for “Holidays at Empire Mine.” From 11AM to 4PM on November 29th and 30th, the mine grounds outside of Grass Valley are open and engaging with period costumes, live music, and food vendors. Costumed maids distribute cookies and stories about the original mine owner, William Bourn, Jr., who lived on the grounds. See the smiths at work and buy some of their hand crafted tools or just pick up your own ring made from a nail. Along with the caroulers, live musicians are set up at other locations, playing a gamut of instruments from harps to banjos. For those bringing children, Santa Clause generates a lot of excitement (and long lines) at the club house. Other Christmas attractions include sampling chestnuts freshly roasted over an open fire (while warming yourself in front of that same fire). Common Empire Mine attractions such as the shaft tour are still available and visitors continue to enjoy wandering the cottage grounds, mining equipment, and small mining history museum.
For those near the Nevada County area, come out tomorrow for family fun, mining facts, and living history. For those with time constraints, the event is annual and only one of many living history days and opportunities to tour one of the largest producing mines in California gold rush history.*
* Producing 5.8 million ounces of gold