Timelines | TheUnion.com


This Timeline features questions you won’t find in any of the popular “trivia” parlor games presently on the market. In fact, these offerings are mostly unique to western Nevada County. Some answers can be found only in local fact and some in local legend and lore. In other words, we offer the reader interesting information of limited use – trivia.

1. Gilmore School in Grass Valley takes its name from (a) a 19th century dance hall entertainer named Gillie Moore, (b) a former school principal named Gilbert Morrison, or (c) an eccentric inventor of an aircraft by the name of Lyman Gilmore?

2. Which of the following are said to harbor resident ectoplasmic manifestations (ghosts): (a) the M. L. Marsh home on Boulder Street, Nevada City, (b) the Firehouse No. 1 Museum, Main Street, Nevada City, or (c) the Red Castle on Prospect Hill, Nevada City?

3. Which of the following Grass Valley street intersections have illuminated traffic control systems (stop lights) and which was the first: (a) Auburn and Main streets, (b) Neal and Mill, or (c) Hughes Road and Nevada City Highway?

4. The gold-producing region of western Nevada County lies geographically in an area called the (a) Mother Lode, (b) Northern Mines, or (c) Auriferous Section?

5. Which of the following have cities or towns by the same name in other states and what are they? There is more than one, but one will suffice: (a) Grass Valley 95945 (b) Nevada City 95959, or (c) Washington 95986. (DC doesn’t count.)


1. (c) Lyman Gilmore was an early 20th century inventor whose airfield is part of the present-day school. There is an ongoing controversy regarding the claim that he flew a heavier-than-air craft prior to the Wright Brothers’ 1903 flight. In his last years he lived in Nevada City.

2. All of them! Nevada City is a very spooky place. The Marsh ghost is said to be a 19th century suicide victim The other two are of more recent residency and little is known of their background.

3. Both (a) and (c), with (a) being the first in the early 1960s.

4. (b) From time to time both Grass Valley and Nevada City have incorporated “Northern Mines” as part of an identifying label, e.g., “Nevada City, Queen of the Northern Mines’ and “Grass Valley, the Golden Center of the Northern Mines.” Erwin G. Gudde, in his 1969 edition, “California Place Names,” UC Press, Berkeley, defines Mother Lode as “that huge vein of gold extended from the middle fork of the American River (south) to a point near Mariposa …”

5. There are more Washingtons in the U.S. than almost any other name: Washington, Conn., 06793 and Washington, Ga., 30673 are two. There is a Grass Valley, Ore., 97029, and Nevada City, Mont., is a ghost town with no post office, but plenty of summer tourists.

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