Archaeologists have been working at Empire Mine State Historic Park to catalog and protect historical sites and artifacts they are discovering on the park’s 850 acre site. State Parks is sponsoring the park-wide historical archaeology study to ensure they don’t destroy history while making remedial repairs. Mark Selverston of Sonoma State University’s Anthropological Studies Center has been leading the effort and says they have identified a great deal of historical resources in the area of the Magenta Drain, that’s an old drain tunnel that’s now abandoned but still dripping out of the mine system.
Selverston says one site they uncovered was populated by Irish immigrants that were Placer Mining in the ravines and had worked their way up the hill slopes of the Empire Mine property in the 1850’s and 60’s.
Selverston says the documents at the Searls Historical Library have been invaluable in identifying the pieces of history they have uncovered.
Selverston says the fact that Grass Valley has kept the records of mining claims from the Gold Rush has allowed archaeologists to put names to the places where they uncover artifacts. Mark Selverston will be guest Speaker at the Nevada County Historical Society Speaker Night Thursday night (9/19) at 7 pm at the Madelyn Helling Library Community Room. The event is free and open to the public.