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 - Note: Current estimates as of May, 2007 show the
population of Grass Valley as being around 11,100.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,922 people, 5,016 households,
and 2,678 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,026.0/km²
(2,660.2/mi²). There were 5,266 housing units at an average density
of 494.7/km² (1,282.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was
91.91% White, 6.56% Hispanic, or Latino, 3.71% from two or more races,
0.27% Black or African American, 1.34% Native American, 1.05% Asian, 0.07%
Pacific Islander, and 1.66% from other races 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
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
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 Grass Valley Group is a research and development
company founded in the city in 1958, specializing in video amplifiers and
television switchers. Some of its technology appeared on-screen in the
1977 film Star Wars. The company is now a subsidiary of Thomson SA.