The North Star House was designed by famed architect Julia Morgan to provide hospitality to North Star Mine visitors. At this time of year, we decorate the house for the holidays. We invite you to come share it with us. We will have docents present to answer questions and show you around.

Sunday, December 4, from 4pm – 6pm
12075 Auburn Road, GV, approx. 1 mile south of the fairgrounds.

Cornish Christmas Choir at the North Star House on Dec. 4

We are very pleased to announce that the Grass Valley Cornish Carol Choir will be singing carols from 5:00pm – 5:30pm. Local historian Gage McKinney will be introducing the carols.

Grass Valley has a rich Cornish history thanks to the Cornish who immigrated to help with the gold mines and to teach the mining “newbies” how to do hard-rock mining. The Cornish had been refining their skills and developing technologies for centuries to improve the process of hard rock mining. As such, they were in demand all over the world, wherever rich mineral deposits were being discovered.

They also brought their love of music, with songs and Christmas carols arising wherever they gathered. The Grass Valley Cornish Carol Choir has preserved the old carols, which they perform for the community every year. They are interwoven in our local history.

When the North Star House was completed in 1905, Arthur De Wint Foote and Mary Hallock Foote moved in with their children. Arthur was the mine manager and Mary was a well-known writer and illustrator. In Mary’s autobiography, which she wrote while living in the North Star House, she wrote fondly about the Cornish people whom she and her husband met at various western mines.  Mary referred to the music as

“…not the church carols, but quaint old chapel tunes and catches, older than Methodism, which are in the Cornish blood from father to son. But the great singing was on Christmas Eve when the day shift came up [from the mine] and the night shift was waiting [to go down into the mine], and they sang as one family, grouped around the [mine] shaft, the old country carols.”

Mary Hallock Foote