Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Empire Mine State Historic Park Collection
Consult repository  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
The Empire Mine State Historic Park Collection contains correspondence, financial and administrative material, mining records, employee records, and vendor material from the Empire Mine located in Grass Valley, California, and from other mines located throughout Nevada County, California. Mines and mining corporations documented in this collection include Empire Mine, North Star Mine, Empire Star Mines Company, Ltd., Newmont Mining Corporation, Champion Mine, Gaston Ridge Mine, Golden Center Mine, Lava Cap Gold Mine, Pennsylvania Mine, Twin River Consolidated Mining Company, Yuba Drift Mining Company, and Zeibright Mine. Also included in this collection are personal papers of William Bourn, Jr., Phil Keast, Fred W. Nobs, George W. Starr, and Robert H. Svendsen. These individuals were either owners or employees of one or more of the above listed mines and mining corporations. The records in this collection cover the years 1866 to 1985 with the bulk of the material ranging from 1900 to 1960.
Grass Valley was once the richest gold mining district in California. The largest and most productive mining operations in the region were the Empire, North Star, and Idaho-Maryland mines. From 1900-1925 the Empire Mine, under the direction of George W. Starr, and the North Star Mine, under the direction of James D. Hague and A. D. Foote, produced most of the gold in all of Nevada County, California. George W. Starr wrote in a 1900 edition of Mining and Science Press, "In the history of gold mining in California the Empire stands preeminent, not alone for its wealth but for what the mine, above all others, has given in the way of example and earnest, well-applied endeavor. It is the pioneer in deep mining and the first to regard Grass Valley mining a legitimate business, controlled by the same laws and conditions as should govern a well-managed manufacturing establishment."
79 cubic feet
Property rights reside with the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Parks Archives.
The collection is open for research. Empire Star Mines Company, Ltd., employee records located in Box 9, Folders 23-24, 32, and 42 through Box 10, Folder 4 are permanently restricted.