Gold Panning History
Treasures in a Bag offers information and products about gold panning history. We have unique and guarantee semi-precious gems, minerals, and rocks in our bags. Our special gem bags are filled with minerals, rocks, and gems from around the world, as well as from streams in Nevada County where gold was abundant in 1848.
Grass Valley & Nevada City Gold Discovery
In 1848, the first settlers arrived in the Nevada City and Grass Valley area. The area was rich in timber and grassland for livestock, which on its own was appealing. What made the area thrive, however, was gold. Huge gold-laden quartz veins were found in the vicinity of Grass Valley in 1850. This discovery would fuel this part of the gold county for over 100 years.
Once the gold was found, how to mine it would be the next challenge. Hardrock mining became the preferred way to mine. With the help of Cornish miners who had experience from blasting deep into tunnels and shafts in southern England, the miners began following the quartz veins deep into the earth. They needed to go down thousands of feet, and this was an expensive and dangerous endeavor.
The area became one of the richest in California. Investors from around the world bought into mines. The North-Star and Empire were two of the most successful and operated almost continuously from 1850-1957. These were stamp mills, and at their prime, ore was milled by eighty stamps 24 hours a day. Over 400 million in gold was mined during this time. These mines are now museums rich in history and full of artifacts and miner’s stories.
Nevada City, a close neighbor to Grass Valley, is where hydraulic mining was invented. What started as a miner using a small hose to help him mine turned into large water cannons that would shoot at the hills to uncover the veins of gold. This charming, rustic town still maintains its old gold mining town feel and is well worth exploring.