Holidays at Empire Mine set for Friday and Saturday |

Holidays at Empire Mine set for Friday and Saturday

Submitted to The Union

Holidays at Empire Mine glows with gold and good cheer.

The mine yard comes alive again with demonstrations in the blacksmith shop.

The old offices are open for business the way they were in its heyday of prosperity. Bourn Cottage sparkles with lavish, traditional decorations.

In the club house, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be busy "making lists and checking them twice" for their 13th consecutive year. During that time, they've heard thousands of wishes from children of all ages – ranging from ponies to spaceships.

However, this year on Friday and Saturday thanks to talented local people, there's even more for visitors to discover and enjoy. Seamstress Lyn Shipley, for example, has been busy designing and sewing new costumes for Living History docents.

Many of these turn-of-the-century creations are scheduled to make their debut furing the event.

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Katie's legendary kitchen will be featuring new cookies made by Nana's Artisan Bakery.

"To add to the authenticity, I worked with an authentic sugar cookie recipe and used ingredients and decorations available during that period," said Susan Meagher.

"Their star shapes and golden sprinkles give them an old-fashioned, festive look. I like to think that historic housekeeper Katie Moriarty would approve. I understand that she was quite the perfectionist."

Complimentary cookies and hot, spiced cider are included in the admission price, and will be given away in Katie's famous, old kitchen.

Docents portraying Katie, Mr. and Mrs. Bourn and their staff, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Starr, will be on hand to recreate what life was like owning and managing a gold mine in the early 1900s.

With lavish decorations and the String Sisters teen trio playing traditional Celtic music, Bourn Cottage will be all decked out for a memorable experience.

"Holidays at Empire Mine is a great way to entertain family and guests the two days after Thanksgiving," said Event Chair, Patricia Speer.

"It's an entertaining way to bring history to life — and let Santa know what you really want this Christmas."

The gift shop will be open as well, with some interesting and unusual items.

Know &Go

What: Holidays at Empire Mine

Where: Empire Mine State Historic Park, 10791 E. Empire St., Grass Valley CA 95945

When: Friday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 24 (Park open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – with festive activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

Price: $7 adults/$3 ages 6-16/Under 6 FREE

Contact: (530) 273-8522, or

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