Where in the World is Nevada County, CA?

imagesThink rolling hills of green and gold, elevations from 1,000 feet to 7,000 feet, pines and cedars waving in the breeze. . .

images-1 . . . Think the 1849 California Gold Rush,  historic hotels where presidents stayed, a theatre where Mark Twain performed. . .NevadaCityFallColor-DavidMcKay

. . .the US Senator and his wife who were pivotal in supporting the 21st amendment.

The county was named after the mining town of Nevada City, a name derived from the term “Sierra Nevada.” The word nevada is Spanish for “snowy” or “snow-covered.”[1]


Nevada City was the first to use the word “Nevada” in its name. In 1851 the newly formed Nevada County used the same name as the county seat. The bordering state of Nevada used the same name in 1861.

The region came to life in the Gold Rush of 1849. Many historical sites remain to mark the birth of this important region in California’s formative years. Among them are the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City, the oldest theater built in California in 1865. It operates to this day and once hosted Mark Twain among other historical figures.

The Old 5 Mile House stagecoach stop built in 1890, also operates to this day as a provider of hospitality spanning three centuries. This historical site still features “The stagecoach safe” that is on display outside the present day restaurant and is the source of many legends of stagecoach robbers and notorious highwaymen in the California gold rush era.


California Gold Country, including Nevada City in particular, was listed among the top 10 travel destinations by Lonely Planet. We are rated #2 of best “river cities” in America by Outside magazine.  Today, tourism and agriculture are the major employers in the county.  It is also a retirement mecca for “refugees” from the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley.

Two “sister” AAUW branches are local.  One, the Truckee Branch, is actually in the eastern county and the South Placer-Roseville Branch is to the south and west.