Author Night at Empire Mine features ‘Women of the Western Frontier’ |

Author Night at Empire Mine features ‘Women of the Western Frontier’

“Women of the Western Frontier” will be tonight’s “Author Night” subject at the Empire Mine State Historic Park’s clubhouse.

The 6 p.m. “Author Night” includes presentations by writers JoAnn Levy and JoAnn Chartier, music by Rick Toles portraying “Alkali – Last of the 49ers’ and profiles of Gold Rush women by the mine’s Cottage Living History Volunteers.

Levy has written four books on women of the Gold Rush, including cooks, boarding house operators, laundry workers, teachers, restaurant proprietors, wives, miners and a stagecoach driver. The Sutter Creek writer’s first novel, “Daughter of Joy,” about the Chinese participation in the Gold Rush, was named the 1999 WILLA Award for Best Historical Fiction.

Levy’s third book “For California’s Gold: A Novel” won the 2001 WILLA Award. Her latest, “Unsettling the West: Eliza Farnham and Georgiana Bruce Kirby in Frontier California” is a biography of two independent reformer-friends who arrived to the West Coast in 1850.

Levy, who was featured in the PBS Special “Gold Rush, A&E’s “California and the Dream Seekers” and the Learning Channel’s “History of San Francisco;” has appeared at the National Archives and the Autry Museum of Western Heritage.

Historian and KNCO radio personality JoAnn Chartier, with Chris Enss, wrote “With Great Hope: Women of the California Gold Rush,” “Love Untamed: Romance of the Old West,” “Gilded Girls: Women Entertainers of the Old West” and “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon: Women, Soldiers and Patriots of the Western Frontier.”

The free “Author Night” program is sponsored by the Empire Mine State Historic Park, Friends of the Nevada County Libraries, Grass Valley Downtown Association, Heyday Books, KNCO, Nevada County Library, The Swan Levine House, the Nevada County Library Foundation and The Union.

Friends of the Nevada County Libraries will sell books and provide complimentary refreshments.

The park is at 10791 E. Empire St. in Grass Valley. Call 273-8522 for more information.


Chartier and Enss will talk about their latest book, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” at Odyssey Books on July 29. The 7 p.m. book reading presentation includes refreshments.

Odyssey Books is at 11989 Sutton Way in Grass Valley. Call 477-2856 for more details.

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