The Miners Foundry Cultural Center is a living historic treasure serving Nevada County as a cultural arts and community events center. More than a venue, the nonprofit’s mission is to preserve, enhance and utilize the historic Miners Foundry for cultural, educational and social activities in Nevada County. It is a symbol of California’s rich historical heritage, providing an educational and social bridge from our past to the present and future.
From humble beginnings as a machine shop in 1855 to its current incarnation as a cultural center and community meeting place, Miners Foundry has prospered and grown with Nevada County.
Men rushing to find gold in the Sierra foothills quickly realized they could extract even more of the precious metal with the proper machinery.
In response, the Miners Foundry was built in 1855 and grew up with Nevada City, serving the mines of the foothill region and helping Nevada County become the greatest gold-producing region of the entire world.
Over the years, metalworkers at the Foundry also exercised their skill fabricating equipment to ease the difficult life of those settling the western regions. Here is the birthplace of the famous Pelton Wheel in 1879, an invention which revolutionized hydroelectric power .