Step back in time at the Grass Valley museum |

Step back in time at the Grass Valley museum


Rooms filled with historic treasures give visitors a snapshot of Nevada County’s rich history at the Grass Valley Museum.

The Grass Valley Museum depicts the rich history from the Gold Rush days to 1930 with displays of furniture, art, objects d’art, clothing, musical instruments and artifacts of the Victorian era. The museum also features large Old California style paintings, a Victorian bedroom, a lace making exhibit, Lola Montez’s bathtub, a hall of photographs from the turn of the century, a table used for the signing of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco in 1945 and more.

“Today you can almost hear the echoes of children reciting their lessons as you stand behind the teacher’s desk in the restored classroom,” said Joseph Guida, executive director of St. Joseph’s Cultural Center. “On the desk is an attendance book from 1890. Note the exquisite penmanship of bygone days. Sit in the students’ desks and imagine what it was like to be a student in those days. You’re in the Gold Country, so take a few minutes to see how life was lived here in the olden days. It’s waiting for you … at the Grass Valley Museum.”

The museum also contains the history of the building now known as St. Joseph’s Cultural Center. The many photographs in the museum show the building as it was originally built in 1866, as a convent, and then as an orphanage. The Grass Valley Museum in on the second floor of the cultural center at 410 South Church Street, at the corner of Chapel Street. The museum is open from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m on Fridays and Saturdays only. To schedule a tour by special appointment on another day of the week, call the cultural center office at 530-272-4725.

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