The Mighty MacBoyle: Free concert, talk to honor Nevada County notable Errol MacBoyle |

The Mighty MacBoyle: Free concert, talk to honor Nevada County notable Errol MacBoyle

A free concert and talk on one of Nevada County's outstanding early citizens, Errol MacBoyle, will be presented Friday at Grass Valley Methodist Church.
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WHAT: Concert honoring Nevada County notable Errol MacBoyle

WHERE: Grass Valley United Methodist Church, 236 South Church Street, Grass Valley

WHEN: Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m.

TICKETS: Free admission

A free concert honoring Errol MacBoyle, mine owner and major philanthropist here in the early 1900s, will be presented 7 p.m. Friday at Grass Valley Methodist Church, 236 S. Church St. in downtown Grass Valley.

The evening’s highlight will be a brief talk by local historian and author Gage McKinney on “What Errol MacBoyle Learned From the Cornish.” The Grass Valley Male Voice Choir will also entertain with Cornish songs.

Errol MacBoyle (1880–1949) put magic in the name “Loma Rica.” He was a University of California at Berkeley-trained mining engineer who took over the Idaho-Maryland Mine in 1925 and became very wealthy when a rich vein of gold was discovered. Just in time for the Great Depression of the 1930s, he created more than 1,000 mining jobs. He also created jobs for migrants and high school and college students. He eventually owned the mine’s surface property, including the Loma Rica Ranch and adjacent orchards, ranches and timberland.

The Loma Rica name grew famous after MacBoyle’s draft horses, short-horned cattle and wines won ribbons at county, state and world fairs. His thoroughbred horses, with “gold” in their names and wearing Loma Rica blue-and-gold, won on every professional track in California. 

The real story of Errol MacBoyle is a story of giving. MacBoyle worked with state agencies to make Loma Rica a model of conservation. He outfitted a Lockheed Electra to serve as an air ambulance and founded our local Nevada County Airport. With his friend, Dr. Carl P. Jones, he founded the hospital now known as the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. He gave the hospital its original land in the midst of a pear orchard, and after his death, his widow gave the hospital its present location on Spring Hill Drive.

Many miners in MacBoyle’s Idaho-Maryland Mine were sons and grandsons of Cornish immigrants to Nevada County during the Gold Rush. The 40-member Grass Valley Male Voice Choir is the direct descendant of Cornish miners men’s choirs that sang in Grass Valley for more than 90 years.

An effort is underway locally to honor MacBoyle’s contributions to Nevada County. To support that remembrance, a free will donation basket will be passed at the concert.

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