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The trip through the county begins at Interstate 80 at Auburn, then continues up Hwy 49/20 back to the I80 interchange at Cisco Grove. One of the most scenic drives is up old U.S. 40 over Donner Summit and down to Donner Lake, very close to the Donner Party's historic trip in the mid 1800's.
Nevada County has a fairly diverse business community with Grass Valley and Nevada City being quite prominent in the Broadcast and Video hi-tech business.
A highlight every year in the region is the Old West Antique Show that will be at the Nevada County Fairgrounds on May 7-8, 2010. Now in its 11th year, the antique show is something not to miss if you're a Western buff said its originator, Mike Butler. "It's a popular show with 100 high-end dealers of Americana coming from everywhere," he said adding the speciality show features Western lore - gold, bordellos, gambling and cowboy and Indians.
"We have art paintings, early country store advertising, tin cans, pre-prohibition stuff 100 years ago," added Butler, noting the Old West Antique Show costs $7 to get in and is open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday.
The event has become so popular over the years there's now a waiting list for dealers who want to get in. Butler said he treats the dealers right, having them to a barbecue where people snack on picnic tables surrounded by pine trees.
The accommodations aren't bad either: There's camping available right at the fairgrounds. And, a short distance away, there are other attractions, like tours of the Empire Mine, one of the oldest and biggest-producing mines in the Western United States.
Nevada County will also host the 35th annual California Preservation Conference May 12-15. The conference title "Preserving a Sense of Place: The Sierra Nevada" is intended to showcase the rich history and diverse beauty of the area. Major natural attractions include the Empire Mine State Park, South Yuba River State Park, The Donner Memorial State Park and Malakoff State Park. There are 15 wineries, historic downtowns, performing arts centers, multiple museums and several lakes and rivers.
Located in Nevada City, the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum is dedicated to the preservation of local transportation history and artifacts from the narrow gauge railroad era. In addition to the railroad, the Sierra foothills county boasted such turn-of-the 20th century transportation as an electric streetcar line, a steam powered automobile, and the first commercial airport in the United States.
Visitors are offered a docent-led historical tour of the museum, railyard, and restoration shop. The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum is located at 5 Kidder Court, Nevada City. For exhibit details and general information visit www.ncngrrmuseum.org or call (530) 470-0902.
The Grass Valley Museum, located in Grass Valley at the Historic Saint Joseph's Cultural Center, is a former orphanage where vistors can explore the rich history of the Gold Rush days to 1930 with displays of furniture, art, objects d'art, clothing, musical instruments and artifacts of the Victorian era.
The Grass Valley museum is open year round, Tuesdays through Fridays from12:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. at the corner of South Church and Chapel Streets in Grass Valley. For information call (530) 273-5509,
In Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee you will also find many antique shops. Here are a few:
Rass valley, 202 W. Main St., (530) 272-2327.
"My wife Sandy and I own the business and we've been doing it since 1996," said Steve Ganeles. "We're middle- to high-end. I collect toys from the '20s and '30s. We also have a lot of lighting, pottery and furniture. We cater to discriminating people with quality pieces of furniture, lighting and pottery. We carry a variety of things."
Grass Valley Antique Emporium, 150 Mill St. in downtown Grass Valley., (530) 272-7302.
"We're an antique cooperative and the business has been here for 25 years," said C.J. Granados, one of the shop's 14 dealers. She said her specialty is ephemera, paper items, early publications, photography, post cards and the like. Others in the cooperative deal in artwork, silver, jewelry and a whole host of memorabilia. "
Clocksmith, 217 West Main St., (530) 272-5746.
Specializes in antique clocks, grandfather and grandmother, cuckoo clocks.
Polka Dot Rose, 122 Mill St., (530) 273-1095.
Carries eclectic, vintage items, journeys into personal pasts - the world of pink and black, stay-at-home mom's, signed costume jewelry, pink flamingos, chandeliers with prisms, romantic to retro, 20th century nostalgia.
For more information go to www.discovernevadacounty.com.