Built in 1856, the Foundry grew up with Nevada City, serving the placer and hard rock gold mines of the foothill region with metalworking operations. Miners Foundry is the birthplace of the famous Pelton Wheel, an invention which revolutionized water power in 1879. The Foundry prospered and grew into steel fabrication through the 20th century until 1974.
In the mid 1970s, David Osborn and Charles Woods rescued The Foundry, undertaking a huge restoration of the historic building and founded the American Victorian Museum. Antiques from those days can still be enjoyed by the community today. The stone walls and huge timbers evoke a sense of continuity with our past.
The Miners Foundry Cultural Center:
Now a non-profit cultural center, Miners Foundry provides a flexible facility for more than 200 events a year serving local organizations, and presenting a variety of cultural activities for local residents as well as visitors from out of the area. The Miners Foundry Cultural Center has been home to KVMR 98.5 Radio, The Foothill Theatre Company, Twin Cities Concert Association, Nevada County Performing Arts Guild, and the Nevada County Arts Council.