This is a video prepared for the California Preservation Foundation and was also a history project.
Brief History: The Empire Mine was the richest hard-rock mine in the State of California producing 5.8 million ounces of gold in its operating history of 106 years (1850-1956). George Roberts, the original discoverer of the gold soon sold his interest and by 1869 William Bourn Sr. owned controlling interest. The Bourn family maintained control of the mine until 1929 when it was sold to Newmont Mining. It ceased operation in 1956. In 1975 the State purchased the surface property as the Empire Mine State Historic Park. The Park continues to draw thousands of worldwide visitors each year and is noted for its historical tours of the Bourn Cottage, the mineyard and “living history” events.
Park Attractions: In addition to the tours noted above, the Park museum has a scale model of the underground workings of the Empire/Star mine complex, a “gold room” which displays ore samples from local mines,an Assay Office, and an extensive mineral collection. A video entitled “Tears from the Sun” depicting various gold mining techniques is shown on a regular basis. On Mother’s Day Weekend a Springtime Open House is held .It features the “Living History” programs,food service, and entertainment. As an added bonus the Gardens are in bloom!! The annual Miner’s Picnic is scheduled for late summer and over Thanksgiving weekend the Park sponsors a “Holiday Open-House”. For groups of 25 or more a Miner’s Luncheon is available. For additional information on these events click on the appropriate heading on the “Site Index”. For details on schedules fees click here