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Sierra County museums open for the summer

Feather Publishing

When the Kentucky Mine stamp mill was up and running at its maximum, you could hear the 10 1,000-pound stamps crushing gold-veined quartz ore for miles around. In fact, the din of the several stamp mills operating near Sierra City during the gold rush days of the 1800s was so uproarious that people had to get inside somewhere in order to carry on a conversation!


Visits to the Kentucky Mine and Museum include the opportunity to tour and learn about the stamp mill.
Today, the stamp mills are silent excepting two times each day when the Kentucky Mine stamp mill is once again brought to life to give folks on the twice-daily tours of the mine and stamp mill a close-up encounter with an operating stamp mill. Tour members are cautioned to cover their ears if sudden loud noises bother them because when the stamp drops, nearly everyone jumps!

This chance to see and hear the sounds of a working gold mine is just the dramatic ending of the hour-plus tour that takes visitors through the incredible day-to-day experience of hard rock mining in the Sierra City mining region during the later part of the 19th century.

The Kentucky Mine and Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Family-friendly pricing is in place with $1 per person museum admission. Guided gold mine and stamp mill tours start at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily with $7 admission for adults, $3.50 for children ages 7 - 17, and free admission for children 6 and under.

A visit to the Kentucky Mine and Museum located on Highway 49 near the town of Sierra City is a unique opportunity for families to step into the world of the gold-seeking miners who worked the mines and built the towns that made California the Golden State.

Loyalton Museum

A visit to the Loyalton Museum, located near the center of Loyalton on county road A24 adjacent to the Loyalton City Park, is a trip down memory lane from the prehistoric Native American presence in the area, through the later settling of the valley by European families.

Ranching, mining, logging, dairy farming and family histories are brought to life through photographs, artifacts, home furnishings, clothing and everyday remembrances of those who lived through those colorful days in Sierra County. The museum features an outdoor area displaying early farming equipment used in the valley as well as a beautiful horse-drawn hearse that carried locals in style to their final resting place.

The museum is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, Thursday - Monday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 993-6754.

There is something for everyone at the Loyalton museum whether visitors are local old timers or vacationing families visiting this colorful area for the first time.


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