April 4, 2018 – The Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins, in cooperation with the Sierra Gold Sector of California State Parks, have re-scheduled the snowed-out Historic Cemetery tour with Chris Ward*, author of Cemeteries of the Western Sierra, to April 14, 2018. Due to the popularity of the earlier-scheduled event, two 90-minute afternoon tours will be offered, with start times of 1:30 and 3:15 PM.

The event will feature a monument-by-monument tour, with stories about French pioneers and snippets of history from the era when the hydraulic monitors were blasting, and the town was an active center of commerce and innovation.

Chris Ward*, author of Cemeteries of the Western Sierra, will lead the tours through the historic North Bloomfield cemetery, regaling visitors with stories and insights extracted from the headstones and markers remaining in the still-operating cemetery. Established in the mid-1800’s, this plot of land is dedicated to the enduring stories and memories surrounding the early settlement of this hub of exploration and innovation.

“Cemeteries are more than final resting places for the dead; they are gateways to an area’s shared history. Every hand-carved granite or marble monument, every faded wooden marker, holds a clue. Western Sierra populations boomed with the discovery of gold and often dwindled as gold fever waned. Cemeteries of the Western Sierra uses the lens of the cemetery to glimpse a rich and disappearing history. Displaced indigenous populations, miners, dueling newspaper magnates, Chinese pioneers: all are part of the mosaic of history represented in a historical cemetery. From solitary graves in the forest to almost forgotten graveyards near the center of a town, cemeteries tell a story not just of who may have died but also of who lived and what was meaningful in their time.”

*Chris Ward is an archeological specialist and a contributor to numerous investigatory research projects throughout California. He is a member of multiple organizations dedicated to the conservation of California’s heritage, including the Society of California Archaeology and multiple regional and county preservation groups. He has spent hundreds of hours with historians, community members, and in the historical cemeteries, historical libraries, and archives photographing and compiling research for this book. He lives and works from Penn Valley.


Carpooling is encouraged. We will meet at the museum/park headquarters. It is a short walk from there to the cemetery. There is parking for 15 cars at the cemetery, if inclement weather or the distance from the visitor center is too daunting. Accessing the park from Tyler Foote Road is recommended, as the shortest route via North Bloomfield Road is very rough, and unpaved from Edwards Crossing.

What to bring

Bring your camera, picnic lunch, if you wish to eat before the tour, water bottle, and dress in layers, to accommodate the changeable spring weather. Hats, gloves, umbrellas, and scarves can help make a chilly day enjoyable. Bring a small backpack to store your un-used articles. Please leave your dogs at home for this event.



      Tour I:  1:30 PM-3:00 PM

      Tour II: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM

WHERE:  Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, 23579 North Bloomfield Road, Nevada City, CA 95959

COST: FREE for tour; $5 day-use parking fee, using self-registration envelopes. Pre-registration requested, limited to 30 participants, each tour.

Tour I: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/discover-malakoff-historical-cemetery-tour-i-registration-44681605886

Tour II: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/discover-malakoff-historical-cemetery-tour-ii-registration-44682125440

Please do RSVP, and update, if plans change. We will maintain a wait list.

Learn more about Malakoff:

http://malakoffdigginsstatepark.org/and https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=494

Presented by the Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins and California State Parks Sierra Gold Sector

For more information about the April 14 cemetery tours, call (530) 273-0219 or email jenna.randar@parks.ca.gov

Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins Mission:

We enhance the interpretive experience for visitors, promote park-based education for learners of all ages, and support and preserve the natural and cultural resources of Malakoff Diggins SHP. We also assist other cooperative associations and the State Park System mission for the benefit of the public.