National Register of Historic Places in Nevada County

National Register #73000417: Nevada Theatre 14 December 2005
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #73000417
Nevada Theatre
401 Broad Street
Nevada City
Built 1865

According to theater historians, the Nevada Theatre is the earliest, original theater extant in California.

Early theaters faced a precarious existence. They were threatened by fire as well as by technology and changing audience tastes. Those theaters that escaped fire were torn down and abandoned or replaced by more modern theaters.

The facade of the theatre is a splendid example of the architectural style termed "Mother Lode" or "Gold Country." One historian found a remarkable similarity between the facades of the Nevada Theatre and of the Ford Theatre in Washington, DC. If true, it might be more accurate to term the Nevada facade as example of Victorian style architecture.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination.

The Nevada Theatre is also California Historical Landmark 863.

Gold Rush Stonemasons

Mining camps started as clusters of tents and other makeshift shelters. If the mine was productive, wooden buildings were erected and a town was born.

Conflagrations were a recurring curse. Often entire town were repeatedly destroyed by fire. Stonemasons, especially Italian immigrants from Liguria, began building "fire proof" banks and stores of stone or brick with iron doors and iron window shutters to protect the contents from fire.

Many of these stone buildings survive. Some of them, such as the Butte Store, are the sole reminders of a lost mining town.

Some of these buildings are:

Butte Store in Amador County
Calabozo in Hornitos
Civil War Armory in Georgetown
Compere Store in Murphys
Downieville Museum in Downieville

Fountain & Tallman Soda Works in Placerville
Gamble Building in Big Oak Flat
Hirshfeldter Building in Downieville
Honigsberger Store in Copperopolis
Italian Store in Douglas Flat

Kohler Store in Washington
Mackerman & Company Building in Downieville
Masonic Lodge in Columbia
Masonic Lodge in Hornitos
Nevada Brewery in Nevada City

Nevada Theatre in Nevada City
Odd Fellows Hall in Big Oak Flat
Old Segale Building in Murphys
Old Stone Garage in Truckee
Plymouth Trading Post in Plymouth

Pearson Soda Works in Placerville
Sam Choy Store in Angels Camp
Stage Stop in La Grange
Valente Building in Murphys
Watts & Tannahill Company Store in Groveland

Wells Fargo Bank and Stage Stop in Georgetown
Wells Fargo Express in Chinese Camp
Wells Fargo Express in French Corral
Wells Fargo & Company in North San Juan

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