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The Stone Hall

Stone Hall entrance

Built in 1859, the Stone Hall is the oldest section of the historic Miners Foundry.  The Foundry has always moved in conjunction with Nevada City, adapting its use to serve the community for the last 160 years.  Initially named Nevada in reference to the snow capped mountains surrounding the area, Nevada City was incorporated in 1856.  As Nevada City grew to become the most important gold mining town in the state of California, businesses to serve the mines grew with it.

Kat Alves Photography

Kat Alves Photography

In an effort to prevent the roaring fires continually ravaging the city (seven times by one estimate), one of the first ordinances passed by the City of Nevada City stated the Foundry must be outside the city limits.  The area presently known as 325 Spring Street was outside of the City limits in 1859.  Using native stone and local timber, the Stone Hall was built to withstand the fires used to manufacture parts for the gold mines.

 

Upper Gallery Ceiling

Kat Alves Photography

Kat Alves Photography

 

“Charles & David saw beauty in all people, animals, and things, even when they were considered junk by others. ” ~ Paul Matson

To see one of the most beautiful areas in the Miners Foundry, simply look up.  The ceiling in the Upper Gallery is one of many items (including the Foundry building itself) saved from demolition by David Osborn and Charles Woods, founders of the American Victorian Museum.  Charles & David spent much of their time seeking out forgotten or unwanted items and restoring them. 

Myrmyr 167

Yulyia M. Photography

The pressed tin tiles in the Upper Gallery were salvaged from a drugstore in Colfax, CA that underwent renovations in the 1970s.  It’s believed the building may have originally been the Butler Drugstore, established by one of the founding fathers of Colfax between 1870 and 1875.  The original site can still be seen in Colfax, and is now known as The Old Pharmacy Building.

Immediately sensing the potential of the tiles, Osborn & Woods purchased the tiles, began the restoration process, and eventually installed them in the ceiling of the Upper Gallery.  The ceiling remains a wonderful reminder of how seemingly worthless objects can be re-purposed and enjoyed by generations to come.