The North Star House
Photo © Rose Sponder
Built in 1905 for the North Star Mine, the North Star House is the home of the Nevada County Certified Growers Market held Saturdays from 8am to 1pm, May through October. The House also hosts many community events throughout the year, including concerts, plays, magic shows, book readings and art classes. The House was designed by the renowned California Arts and Crafts architect, Julia Morgan.
The Nevada County Certified Growers Market at the North Star House is held seasonally, May through October, and features local farm-fresh fruit, vegetables, honey, nuts, eggs, nursery stock, cut flowers, herbal products, olive oil, baked goods and live music. Local vendors include Starbright Acres Family Farm, Willow Springs Farm, Nana's Artisan Bakery, Calolea Olive Oil, Dedrick's Cheese, Frontier Angel Soap Company, and the Coffee Run, to name just a few. On the first Saturday of every month, renowned local water color artist, Mim Meakin, provides inspiration and instruction for children.
The North Star House was the residence of North Star Mine Superintendent Arthur De Wint Foote and his wife, author and illustrator of Pioneering Women in the West, Mary Hallock Foote. The site has been listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, and the orchard, gardens and lawn area have been designated as a local historic landmark. The property contains three other former residences dating from as early as the mid-1870s.
The North Star Mine was the second largest producer of gold in California - second only to the Empire Mine, only a few miles away. Relics of mine buildings can still be seen on the North Star House site and on Allison Ranch and Auburn Roads, the two roads that flank the east and west sides of the old mine grounds. The Northstar Mine Powerhouse & Pelton Wheel Museum is roughly 1 mile away from the North Star House, at the corner of Allison Ranch Road and Freeman Lane.
Julia Morgan’s North Star House design is an early example of California-vernacular Arts and Crafts style, and is considered an epic achievement by the young architect. The House was Morgan’s second residential commission. She went on to design Hearst Castle at San Simeon, Alisomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, several buildings of the University of California at Berkeley, and many private estates across California.
In later years, he House was used as a private boarding school, and many structural reconfigurations made at that time had a harmful impact on the original Julia Morgan design. A passionate group of volunteers, civic and scouting groups have stabilized the structure, contributing significantly to the improved condition of the grounds and the North Star House.
The North Star Historic Conservancy was founded to manage the rehabilitation and ongoing operations of The House. The Conservancy is a private 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Time Period Represented: 1900
Hours Open: Market is open Saturdays, 8am to 1pm. See website for special events.
Visitor Fees: None
Seasons Open: Market is open May through October
Accessible ground floor, parking and restrooms.