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Meet local historian at Thursday market

Dave Brooksher
Staff Writer
Author and historian Gary Noy with a copy of his book, "Sierra Stories: Tales of Dreamers, Schemers, Bigots and Rogues."
Mike Price/Sierra College Marketing and Public Relations |

Since releasing “Sierra Stories,” Gary Noy has been touring through California and Nevada. So far he’s done more than 40 book-signing events throughout the region.

Noy is coming to today’s Thursday Night Market in downtown Grass Valley and will be selling and signing books at The Book Seller, 107 Mill St., from 6 to 8 p.m.

“The quickest way to the heart of a culture is through its story-telling,” Noy said.

“Sierra Stories: Tales of Dreamers, Schemers, Bigots and Rogues” is a collection of more than 60 accounts of local history, retold for a contemporary audience.

The selection of stories features notable figures from this region’s past. like Aaron and Ellen Sargent, major proponents of the women’s suffrage movement, but it also includes lesser-known names. It’s not Noy’s first book, but this one has led readers to approach him with tales from their own lives and family histories.

“People will come up and tell me their stories … which I just find really delightful.

“It’s been great,” he added. “The audiences have been wonderful, and there’s just such a great diversity of stories.”

Noy lives in Loomis, and this will be his first visit to the Thursday event.

He was born here, however, and regards himself as a native son. As a descendent of the Cornish miners responsible for much of the area’s hard-rock mining, he’s a fan of Grass Valley’s Cornish Christmas.

“I’m so delighted that the Cornish heritage gets highlighted here because 75 percent of everybody in Grass Valley at one point was Cornish,” he said.

Noy is a former professor of history at Sierra College. He also founded the Sierra College Center for Sierra Nevada Studies. He retired in 2012, but he still teaches summer school in Loomis.

To contact staff writer Dave Brooksher, send emails to dbrooksher@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

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