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Nevada County, California
Seal of Nevada County, California
Map of California highlighting Nevada County
Location in the state of California
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
California's location in the U.S.
Founded 1851
Seat Nevada City
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

974 sq mi (2,523 km²)
958 sq mi (2,481 km²)
17 sq mi (44 km²), 1.73%
 - (2000)
 - Density

96/sq mi (37/km²)

Martis Creek Lake and Dam at the southern end of Nevada County near Truckee. At full pool the lake extends into Placer County in the distance to the south.

Martis Creek Lake and Dam in Nevada County. This picture was actually taken over Placer County, looking north into Nevada County.

Nevada County is a county located in the Sierra Nevada of the U.S. state of California, in the Mother Lode country. As of 2000 its population was 92,033. The county seat is Nevada City.

History[edit | edit source]

Nevada County was created in 1851 from parts of Yuba County.

The county was named after the mining town of Nevada City, a name derived from the term "Sierra Nevada." The word nevada in Spanish means "snowy" or "snowcovered."

Geography[edit | edit source]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,524 km² (974 sq mi). 2,480 km² (958 sq mi) of it is land and 44 km² (17 sq mi) of it (1.73%) is water.

The western part of the county is defined by the course of several rivers and the irregular boundaries of adjoining counties. When the county was created, the founders wanted to include access to the transcontinental railroad, so a rectangular section was added that includes the railroad town of Truckee. What is remarkable about this is that the final shape of the county closely resembles the Deringer pocket pistol, a favorite at the time of the more urbane residents of this gold rush county.

Cities and towns[edit | edit source]

Cities over 10,000 population[edit | edit source]

Cities under 10,000 population[edit | edit source]

Towns over 10,000 population[edit | edit source]

Towns under 10,000 population[edit | edit source]

Adjacent Counties[edit | edit source]

Transportation Infrastructure[edit | edit source]

Major Highways[edit | edit source]

Public Transportation[edit | edit source]

  • Gold Country Stage runs bus service in Grass Valley, Nevada City, Cedar Ridge and Colfax. A connection is available between Grass Valley and Auburn (Placer County).
  • Tahoe Area Rapid Transit, operated by Placer County, has a route connecting Truckee with Lake Tahoe and the state of Nevada. Truckee also has its own local bus service.
  • Greyhound and Amtrak stop in Truckee and Colfax.

Airports[edit | edit source]

Nevada County Air Park is a general aviation airport located just east of Grass Valley.

Demographics[edit | edit source]

As of the census² of 2000, there were 92,033 people, 36,894 households, and 25,936 families residing in the county. The population density was 37/km² (96/sq mi). There were 44,282 housing units at an average density of 18/km² (46/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 93.39% White, 0.28% Black or African American, 0.88% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 1.94% from other races, and 2.64% from two or more races. 5.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 94.0% spoke English and 4.2% Spanish as their first language.

There were 36,894 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.6% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.7 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,864, and the median income for a family was $52,697. Males had a median income of $40,742 versus $27,173 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,007. About 5.5% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit | edit source]

Presidential election results
Year GOP DEM Others
2004 53.4% 28,790 44.9% 24,220 1.7% 910
2000 54.8% 25,998 37.2% 17,670 8.0% 3,811
1996 50.4% 22,784 35.6% 15,369 14.0% 6,066
1992 39.2% 17,343 34.9% 15,433 25.9% 11,425
1988 57.8% 21,383 40.5% 14,980 1.8% 660
1984 62.4% 19,809 35.2% 11,198 2.4% 761
1980 57.9% 15,207 29.0% 7,605 13.1% 3,449
1976 48.4% 8,170 46.9% 7,926 4.67 785
1972 54.7% 8,004 38.9% 5,693 6.4% 941
1968 51.4% 6,061 39.1% 4,607 9.5% 1,126
1964 43.3% 4,899 56.5% 6,397 0.2% 22
1960 53.4% 5,419 45.7% 4,633 0.9% 89

Nevada is a Republican-leaning county in Presidential and congressional elections. The last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Nevada is part of California's 4th congressional district, which is held by Republican John Doolittle. In the state legislature Nevada is in the 3rd Assembly district, which is held by Republican Rick Keene, and the 1st Senate district, which is held by Republican Dave Cox.

Interesting facts[edit | edit source]

The county lines are said to have been drawn to resemble a gun pointing at Nevada because early residents were angry with the state of Nevada for stealing their county's name.

The world's first long-distance telephone call was made from Nevada City, California to Washington, California.

The Pelton wheel, designed to power gold mines, still drives hydro-electric generators today.

Nevada City and Grass Valley were among the first California towns with electric lights.

Lyman Gilmore, a contemporary of the Wright Brothers, developed early powered aircraft and operated the world's first commercial air field in Grass Valley. There is also evidence he may have flown before the Wright brothers.

Charles Litton Sr., a resident and entrepreneur of Nevada County, assisted Raytheon in the development of the magnetron tube.

Atari developed its first home computer video games in Nevada County.

The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad was built in 1876, and was the only railroad in the West that was never robbed, even though its primary freight was gold. (Builder-owner John Flint Kidder's reputation made it clear that he would personally hunt down and kill anyone who tried.) The rail line closed in 1942 and was torn up for scrap.

The Olympics, NASA, and virtually every television station around the country utilizes video/broadcasting equipment designed and manufactured by Grass Valley Group, founded in Grass Valley.

Electronic medical dosing equipment was first developed and manufactured in Nevada County.

The first commercially viable picture-phone was developed in Nevada City.

Over 50 high tech and applied tech companies, and more than 1,000 hardware and software design and development professionals call Nevada County home. The county is sometimes referred to as the "Silicon Valley of the Sierras".

The arcade video game was born in Nevada County. [1]

The Community of Rough and Ready seceded from the Union for a time and became the Great Republic of Rough and Ready.

Current home of controversial NFL star Ricky Williams.

Books[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 39°18′N 120°46′W / 39.30, -120.77

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