Alexander Family homesite in Nevada City designated landmark
The homesite of Preston and Louisa Alexander — 330 Alexander St. in Nevada City — has been designated a Nevada County Historical Landmark, the first in the county to commemorate African-American pioneers.
Audrey Trauntvein, Nevada County Historical Landmark Commission promotions director, said, “Preston was notably loved throughout the community — he had quite a few different jobs, and he was also the bill-poster, so he posted town announcements.”
Preston and Louisa Alexander purchased the now-landmarked property in May 1859, and the street it is on was named after them at some point prior to 1900, according to a release by the county Historical Landmark Commission.
Trauntvein said Linda Jack, a board member of the Nevada County Historical Society, spearheaded the effort to have this property designated as a historical landmark, doing the bulk of the required research and working with both the property’s current owners and the county Historical Landmark Commission on the application process. The Board of Supervisors approved the designation last week.
She said the commission plans to install a plaque with information about the Alexanders at the site, but it has not been determined yet when that will take place.
Nevada County Historical Landmark Commission Chairman Bernie Zimmerman said this landmark designation is the first in the commission’s long-term goal of recognizing the ethnic and cultural diversity in the communities that make up a part of Nevada County’s history.
“Many of the miners — the Gold Rushers, the 49ers — were not Cornish … white Anglo-Saxons,” said Zimmerman, adding that there were many who did fit this profile, though there was an under-acknowledged part of the population who were Black, Latin American, or Asian.
This knowledge has sparked the commission’s interest in designating more landmarks, including the sites of the African Methodist Churches, of which there was one each in Grass Valley and Nevada City. He said they are talking to those sites’ current property owners in order to start that process.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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