Time Magazine has called Grass Valley "one of the top ten best small  towns to live in."  The downtown Grass Valley area is considered by many to be one of the best  preserved historic towns in the United States.

 

Grass Valley is located in the California Sierra Foothills, just an hour from Sacramento and 3 hours from San Francisco.  There are tall pines and a definite rural feel, and there are great shops and fine restaurants. 

 

 GRASS VALLEY LINKS

PHOTO GALLERY

GRASS VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT

MAP OF GRASS VALLEY

HISTORY OF GRASS VALLEY

Historic Previous Painting on Del Oro Theater

Downtown

YEARLY EVENTS

FARMER'S MARKET & STREET FAIR 
(Fridays during August - September) 

MUSIC IN THE MOUNTAINS BREWFEST
(August)

CORNISH CHRISTMAS (December)

 

THINGS TO DO
IN NEVADA COUNTY

NEVADA COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

EMPIRE MINE STATE PARK

THE GROWERS MARKET

LAKES OF NEVADA COUNTY

HIKING IN NEVADA COUNTY

   
   

LOCAL LINKS 

INFORMATION FOR NEVADA COUNTY

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

NEVADA COUNTY GOVERNMENT WEBSITE

PLACES TO STAY
 

 

Summer Fair

Fall Colors

 

 Geography - Grass Valley is located at 39°13'9?N, 121°3'30?W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.6 km² (4.1 mi²). Grass Valley is at the intersection of Hwy 49 and Hwy 20 (in California). Public transportation is limited to the city limits.

Demographics -    As of 2010 the United States Census reported that Grass Valley had a population of 12,860. The population density was 2,711.3 people per square mile (1,046.8/km²). The racial makeup of Grass Valley was 11,493 (89.4%) White, 208 (1.6%) Native American, 188 (1.5%) Asian, 46 (0.4%) African American, 9 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 419 (3.3%) from other races, and 497 (3.9%) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 1,341 persons (10.4%). The census reported that 12,401 people (96.4% of the population) lived in households, 118 (0.9%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 341 (2.7%) were institutionalized.    Grass Valley also has a strong connection to Cornish culture and ancestry, since many people from Cornwall in South-West England emigrated here in the 18th and 19th centuries. Out of the 5,016 households, 46.6% were non-families, 39.1% of all households were made up of individuals, 32.4% were married couples living together, 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 20.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older, and 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.80 people. The ages of the population were: under age 18: 23.3%, ages 18 to 24: 9.3%, ages 25 to 44: 25.1%, ages 45 to 64: 20.3%, age 65 and older: 22.0%. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 81.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.1 males.  The median income were: $28,182 for a household in Grass Valley, $33,220 for a family, $32,568 for males, $21,915 for females. 

History - Grass Valley dates from the California Gold Rush, as does nearby Nevada City. It is the location of the Empire Mine, one of the richest mines in California. Many of those who came to settle in Grass Valley were tin miners from Cornwall. They were attracted to the California gold fields because the same skills needed for deep tin mining were needed for hardrock (deep) gold mining. Many of them specialized in pumping the water out of very deep mining shafts. This coincided with a glut in Cornish tin mining. Grass Valley still holds on to its Cornish heritage, with events such as its annual Cornish Christmas celebration. Pasties are a local favorite dish with a few restaurants in town specializing in recipes handed down from the original 
immigrant generation.

Notable residents
• Hunter Burgan bassist of the band AFI 
• Lotta Crabtree 19th century actress 
• Jonathan Dayton director Little Miss Sunshine 
• Lyman Gilmore became the first person to fly a powered airplane (a steam-powered glider). Lyman Gilmore Middle 
School is located in Grass Valley and listed as a Historical site. 
• Bill Hotchkiss, poet and novelist, author of Medicine Calf, based on the life of Jim Beckwourth. 
• Lola Montez 19th century dancer 
• Hans Ostrom, writer and professor. 
• Jim Pagliaroni, former professional baseball player, catcher of a perfect game pitched by Jim "Catfish" Hunter 
(Oakland Athletics). 
• John Rollin Ridge (1827-1867), Native American writer, is buried in Grass Valley. 
• Josiah Royce philosopher 
• Chris Senn professional skateboarder 
• Jeremy Sisto actor 
• Wallace Stegner (1903-1993) set his Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel Angle of Repose (1971) in Grass Valley. 
• John Thomson author 
• Jim Tucker, a guitarist for the group, The Turtles. 
• Chuck Yeager the ace fighter pilot 

Economy - The combined communities of Grass Valley and Nevada City have a fairly diversified economy. The gold rush days left a historical legacy and today, tourism and the related services sector are considered to constitute the bulk of the local economy. Many of those who do not commute to the Sacramento Valley, work locally in retail, wholesale, trade, engineering, manufacturing, construction, and other businesses, as well in various levels of local and state government. A significant number of high-tech electronics companies are in the area.

Another significant sector of the local economy is the agriculture industry, as the soil in Nevada County is considered to be quite fertile. Around the time the areas were being settled during the Gold Rush, farmers planted orchards, vegetables, and other produce as ranchers brought in cattle, sheep, and other livestock. While the percentage of land dedicated to agriculture has significantly decreased over the last few decades, agriculture continues to be an important aspect of the area’s economy including local produce and organic agricultural products. During the past decade, Nevada County has become known for its growing wine industry.

Commercial employers in Grass Valley include Raley's, Safeway, K-Mart, Starbucks, GNC, Jamba Juice, JC Penny, and BriarPatch, as well as fast-food chain restaurants. Other major employers include Nevada Union High School, Nevada Irrigation District, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, and other various faith-related entities.

The Grass Valley Group is a research and development company founded in the city in 1958.

 

Rollins Lake

St Joseph Cultural Center