Hamilton: So what brings you to western Nevada County? | TheUnion.com

Hamilton: So what brings you to western Nevada County?

The Union photo/John Hart
John R. Hart | The Union

Without a doubt, one of my favorite aspects of this job is meeting people.

After all, as it has long been said, everyone has a story to share. And, as you might imagine, I love stories.

Of course, there are all kinds of stories to share on the pages of the newspaper — some make us laugh, others move us to tears and, well, there are those that can cause our blood to boil.

But regardless of the emotional response they might elicit, I’m just a sucker for a good story.

“One of the first things I remember, coming to Grass Valley, is how brightly the stars shine at night. …”
Lily Resch

Throughout the first half of 2014, I have been thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to learn more about the history of western Nevada County, as The Union continues the celebration of our 150th anniversary through monthly special editions.

Along with the history of the paper itself, we’ve been digging into some of the more prominent people and places — along with decades-old family businesses — in our community’s history. But, as we are fully aware, there are just too many more stories to share over the course of a 150-year history to cover it all, even within a 10-part series. (By the way, in addition to our monthly 150 anniversary editions — and a few other fun anniversary projects in the works, The Union is currently working with a documentary filmmaker to produce “Golden stories of our past,” which features many community members sharing their stories about the community. The film will be screened at the Del Oro Theatre in early November).

Many of the best stories we share in The Union often come directly from our readers, and a recent letter we received will likely result in more of them.

Lily Resch, who owns The Swiss House in Grass Valley with her husband, Karl, recently wrote to us with a great idea in her letter “From Grass Mountain to Grass Valley”: “I was very impressed by today’s newspaper, The Union, celebrating 150 years of operation. It is so interesting to read about the pioneers who made this town. I am proud to live in Grass Valley, and own the restaurant The Swiss House. My place of business and residence in Grass Valley has a history that dates back to 1849. It was originally called The Empire House (a miners’ boarding house) and is located in the historic Boston Ravine.

“I came to Grass Valley from Grass Mountain, Formosa (that is Taipei, Taiwan), where President and Madam Chiang Kai-shek lived at the top of the mountain. I came via Hong Kong, Michigan State University (1968 Spartans — we won the Rose Bowl in 2013!) and Hawaii, where I worked in restaurant management of Maui Kapalua, Oahu Ilikai Hotel and Halekulani.

“One of the first things I remember, coming to Grass Valley, is how brightly the stars shine at night. The people are friendly, and very cosmopolitan. I don’t like to drive, so I enjoy walking to town from the Boston Ravine to do banking, grocery shopping, and go to the movie theater. Now my husband and I have operated the restaurant for 29 years (October 2014 will begin our 30th year). I like Grass Valley and plan to retire here, under the bright stars.

“My purpose in writing this article is to suggest to The Union that it would be a good idea to ask people to send in their story of how they chose Grass Valley as the place to settle down, in such a big state as California.”

So how about it, western Nevada County? What was it that brought you to this corner of the Earth?

And what is it, like the bright stars in the sky Lily mentioned, that keeps you here to this day? Send your story — in 300 words or less — to bhamilton @theunion.com and we’ll share some of your responses on these pages, celebrating what brought us together here in this wonderful place we all call home.

Brian Hamilton is editor at The Union. His column is published Wednesdays. Contact him via email at bhamilton@theunion.com or by phone at 530-477-4249.

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