Grass Valley in Nevada County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Lola Montez 1819 - 1861
Countess of Landsfeld
In her home which occupied this site, Lola’s Social Salon 1853 – 55 attracted men of vision whose investments and technology founded Nevada County’s gold quartz mining industry. She brought culture and refinement to this rude mining camp. A mistress of international intrigue and a feminist before her time she is one of history’s most recognizable women and a founder of today’s cosmetic industry.
Erected 1977 by Wm. Meek-Wm. Morris Stewart No. 10 E Clampus Vitus, Nevada City, Ca. (Marker Number 292.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Notable Buildings • Settlements & Settlers • Women. In addition, it is included in the California Historical Landmarks, and the E Clampus Vitus series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1853.
Location. 39° 12.994′ N, 121° 3.834′ W. Marker is in Grass Valley, California, in Nevada County. Marker can be reached from Mill Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 248 Mill Street, Grass Valley CA 95945, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distanceGrass Valley Library (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Emmanuel Episcopal Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Madison Lodge No. 23 F. & A.M. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The First Woman's Christian Temperance Union (about 400 feet away); Edward Coleman House (about 600 feet away); Grass Valley Hardware (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Old Post Office (approx. 0.2 miles away); Holbrooke Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grass Valley.
More about this marker. The marker is located at the Nevada County Chamber of Commerce which houses a small museum. The Chamber is located at the site of the Lola Montez Home. This site is California Historical Landmark No.292.
The only remaining part of her home is the front door of the Chamber of Commerce Building.
Regarding Lola Montez 1819 - 1861. The California Registered Landmark Web Site Information states: Lola was born in Limerick, Ireland on July 3, 1818, as María Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert. After living in England and on the continent, Lola came to New York in 1851 and settled in Grass Valley in 1852. It was here she built the only home she ever owned and became friends with Lotta Crabtree, who lived up the street. Lola died January 17, 1861 and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, New York.
Also see . . . Lola Montez. Find A Grave website entry:
The headstoner shows her birthdate as 1819 but this site lists it as 1821. (Submitted on September 3, 2008.)
Born Eliza Gilbert in Ireland, Lola came to the Mother Lode from Europe, where she lead a high-profile theatrical and scandalous personal life. She had been the center of attention for the most popular literary and artistic personalities of her day. Dubbed the "Countess of Landsfelt" by King Ludwig of Bavaria, Lola considered herself the queen of Bavaria, even though Ludwig's wife held that honor. Ms. Montez was instrumental in the King's downfall, including his de-throning and new title, "Mad King of Bavaria".
Lola toured the United States, visited San Francisco, and settled in Grass Valley. Grass Valley? Yes, to be closer to her gold mine (she had $9,000 worth of stock in the Eureka Gold Mine) and to get the attention she craved but wasn't getting in the bigger cities (surely the miners would appreciate her). She quickly became the center of the social whirl there, giving big parties and keeping a monkey and grizzly bear as pets. She took an interest in her young neighbor, Lotta Crabtree, and helped the child develop her entertainment talents.
Her life took a turn for the worst when she left Grass Valley to tour Australia and the United States, both of which were flops. In the final part of her life, she turned to religion, asking for forgiveness for her sordid past and counseling "wayward" women. Her health failed, and she died penniless at
Lola's house still stands at 248 Mill Street in Grass Valley. Down the street at 238 is Lotta Crabtree's house. Both are privately occupied with landmarks in front.
Source: Gold Rush Chronicles
— Submitted January 31, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 26, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 3, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 2,736 times since then and 61 times this year. Last updated on May 2, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos: 1. submitted on September 3, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. 2. submitted on July 3, 2010, by Karen Key of Sacramento, California. 3, 4. submitted on September 3, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. 5. submitted on January 4, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. 6. submitted on May 19, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.