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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Grass Valley in Nevada County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

North Star Mine Powerhouse

 
 
North Star Mine Powerhouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
1. North Star Mine Powerhouse Marker
Inscription. The North Star Powerhouse, built by A.D. Foote in 1895, was the first complete water powered compressed air transmission plant of its kind. Compressed air, generated by Pelton Water Wheels, furnished power for the entire mine operation. The 30 foot Pelton Wheel was the largest in the world, and was in continuous use for over 30 years.

Companion Plaque Mounted on Side of Marker Base:
International Mechanical
Engineering Heritage Collection
Pelton Waterwheel Collection
North Star Power House Museum
The Pelton Wheel uses the momentum of a water jet impinging on buckets attached to the periphery of a wheel to produce power. It is a development of the primitives, so called “Hurdy Gurdy” wheel used in the California Gold Fields in the nineteenth century. Various inventors have contributed to this type of water turbine, including Lester A. Pelton (1831-1908), who in 1880 patented the characteristic split bucket form. Subsequent important contributions to Pelton-Wheel technology were made by W. A. Doble. This collection illustrates the origins and development of the Pelton Waterwheel.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers - - 1991
 
Erected 1971 by State Department of Parks Recreation in Cooperation with the Nevada
International Mechanical Engineering Heritage Collection Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
2. International Mechanical Engineering Heritage Collection Plaque
County Historical Society. (Marker Number 843.)
 
Location. 39° 12.514′ N, 121° 4.187′ W. Marker is in Grass Valley, California, in Nevada County. Marker is on Allison Ranch Road south of McCourtney Road, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10933 Allison Ranch Road, Grass Valley CA 95945, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Nevada County Traction Co. (a few steps from this marker); Empire House (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Discovery of Gold at Gold Hill (approx. 0.3 miles away); St. Patrick’s Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Mount Saint Mary’s Convent and Academy (approx. 0.4 miles away); Reliance Hose Company No. 3 (approx. 0.6 miles away); Lola Montez 1819 - 1861 (approx. 0.6 miles away); Historic Emmanuel Episcopal Church (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grass Valley.
 
More about this marker. This site was designated as California Registered Historical Landmark No. 843 on September 24, 1970.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Northstar Mine Powerhouse & Pelton Wheel Museum. A Guided Tour Through The Mining Museum, compiled from notes by Glenn Jones, is offered by the Nevada County Historical Society. (Submitted on July 8, 2011.)
North Star Mine Powerhouse Marker and Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
3. North Star Mine Powerhouse Marker and Plaque
The Powerhouse Museum Building is seen in the background.
 

2. Gold Districts of California – Grass Valley. A history of the gold mines, including the North Star Mine, are detailed in this article transcribed from: Gold Districts of California, by: W.B. Clark, California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 193, 1970. (Submitted on July 8, 2011.) 

3. The Pelton Water Wheel Company. Information on the Pelton Water Wheel Company Transcribed by Donna L. Becker. Source: “The Bay of San Francisco,” Vol. 2, Pages 469-471, Lewis Publishing Co, 1892. (Submitted on July 8, 2011.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made Features
 
North Star Mine Powerhouse Museum Building image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
4. North Star Mine Powerhouse Museum Building
North Star Mine Powerhouse Museum Building image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
5. North Star Mine Powerhouse Museum Building
Stone Aqueduct image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
6. Stone Aqueduct
This stone structure was an aqueduct to bring high pressure water to the two Pelton wheels in the building. It was built in 1895 at a cost of $1,700 dollars. The bottom of the foundation is 8 feet below the creek water level. It contains a 20 inch diameter riveted pipe. Pressure at the Pelton wheel buckets was 354 pounds per square inch.
(From signage at the aqueduct)
The Aqueduct image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
7. The Aqueduct
Pelton Water Wheel image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
8. Pelton Water Wheel
Plaque Reads:
Pelton Type
Water Wheel
Produced 71000 HP at 327 rpm, Diameter 10 ft.
Weight 26,000 lbs. Built by Allis Chalmers
of single cast nickel steel
Gift of Oroville-Wyandotte Irrigation District
-------------
Dedicated September 1997
By Nevada County Historical Society
De Remer Water Wheel image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
9. De Remer Water Wheel
Plaque Reads:
De Remer Water Wheel
Hole in the Ground Gulch Mine
Wolf Creek, Ore.
Mined from 1864 - 1908
Electric Spur Gear Hoist image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
10. Electric Spur Gear Hoist
Grass Valley
Serpentine Core image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
11. Serpentine Core
Plaque Reads:
60 Inch
Serpentine Core
Experimental Bored Shaft
Depth 1125 feet
Idaho-Maryland Mine
Grass Valley
Additional Equipment on Display image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
12. Additional Equipment on Display
On the left is a portable stamp mill made by Straub Manufacturing Company of Oakland, California. This mill could be dismantled and carried on mules to isolated locations for testing of ores.
76 Inch Sheave Wheel image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
13. 76 Inch Sheave Wheel
Golden Center Mine
Grass Valley
Steam Hoist image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, June 27, 2011
14. Steam Hoist
Birchville Mine
Graniteville, California
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 8, 2011, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 792 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. submitted on July 8, 2011, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.
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