Series Title: Images of America (Arcadia Publishing)
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (SC)
Book theme: State & Local, General
Author: Claudine Chalmers
Street Date: November 8, 2006
Item Number (DPCI): 247-19-1465
Grass Valley was named for its spring-fed meadows, but its history springs from deep below the soil. An immeasurable wealth of gold lay in ancient river courses, embedded in quartz, or scattered capriciously in surface gravel. Vibrantly entrepreneurial since its inception, Grass Valley echoed with the roar of stamp mills crushing gold-bearing quartz 24 hours a day, every day, for decades. Its mines produced $350 million, and millions more are thought to be buried beneath the modern city. Grass Valley's wealth drew flamboyant stars like Lola Montez and gold-camp-urchin-turned-star Lotta Crabtree. It was here that philosopher Josiah Royce was born and Cherokee writer Yellow Bird (John Rollin Ridge) lived his final days. Grass Valley was often the subject of Alonzo Delano's tales of the gold rush, and more recently, it was the setting and inspiration for Wallace Stegner's best seller Angle of Repose.