An often forgotten gem of Nevada County is the Doris Foley Library for Historical Research in Nevada City. Are you curious about the history of your house or one that you have admired? Do you have ancestors from Nevada County, an interest in mining, or do you just want to know more about the area and its rich history? The Foley Library is a storehouse of fascinating information. The holdings include original handwritten county records; area newspapers beginning in 1851; a large group of early maps; indexes of marriage, birth and death records; and a large collection of books about the area and its history.
The library has something for everyone. Among hundreds of items, the archives contain letters from a mine manager to owners describing the everyday operations of the mine, the original police file of the kidnapping of the Nevada City police chief and two officers in the 1950s, pictures of people and celebrations, histories of local organizations, scrapbooks, magazines and even a turn-of-the-century red velvet gown.
Browsing is encouraged, and the building itself is worth a look. It’s an original 1907 Carnegie Library listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For those interested in genealogy outside of Nevada County, Ancestry.com is available at no charge.
The Doris Foley Library for Historical Research is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. It’s located at 211 N. Pine Street in Nevada City. For information, call (530) 265-4606.